Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? We should strongly encourage our kiddos to start their morning the right way, with a nutritious meal... right?
Studies have shown, and experts insist, that breakfast is vital because it kick-starts our metabolism, gives us energy and boosts our concentration.
Well, one expert has decided that forcing children to eat breakfast is actually a form of "child abuse" - and we're kind of confused.
Biochemist Professor Terence Kealey has examined the evidence for breakfast really being the most important meal of the day, and has questioned whether the advice to eat well in the morning really holds true for everyone.
Professor Kealey claims that the benefits of skipping breakfast include weight loss and reduced blood pressure.
Professor Kealey used to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, but now claims that he reversed his condition after he stopped eating breakfast each day.
He says that after his diagnosis he noticed his glucose levels were unusually high after eating breakfast. But if he had a late breakfast or waited until lunchtime to eat, his glucose levels would be normal.
He wrote a book called Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal, and has recommended that some people would benefit from going without their morning meal.
In fairness, his book makes a compelling argument about cereal, saying that they are largely made of carbohydrates and sugar, and that “it’s hard to think of a worse morning meal”.
The Professor was recently asked about children eating breakfast, and he responded with a rather extreme statement: “I would let the kids decide for themselves if they want breakfast. Lots of kids don’t want to eat breakfast. If you’re worried, give them an apple or something, but the idea that you should force them to eat breakfast is a form of child abuse.”
Child abuse seems like a fairly extreme way to describe making your children consume a bowl of cornflakes in the morning.
Professor Kealey believes that eating in the morning can put adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and also becoming overweight.
However, despite the professor's theories, many nutritionists remain unconvinced - including nutrition and exercise scientist Kathleen Alleaume, who spoke to Kidspot about her opinions on the matter.
“Absurd! Not having breakfast is one thing, but saying it’s a form of child abuse is just taking it too far,” she says. “Loads of research supports breaking the fast with concentration and learning at school, too.”
We can't help but agree wth Kathleen on this one, mums. What do you think?