Nation of future champions skip breakfast

Britain’s children are dreaming of careers in sport, but might not be getting the fuel to help them pursue their sporting dreams, according to new research.

More than half (59 per cent) of under-fives don’t eat a proper breakfast at the start of every day with 13 per cent of under-fives saying they never have a proper breakfast.

The new study by Weetabix reveals that two thirds (70 per cent) of children would now like to pursue a sporting career, with football (25 per cent), swimming (18 per cent) and track cycling (five per cent) being among the most popular choices. 

Despite the very physical nature of these options, starting the day with a proper breakfast is low on the priority list for some, with the three most common reasons for children missing breakfast including preferring to watch TV or play than sit down to eat (21 per cent); not having enough time (20 per cent) and fussy eating habits (7 per cent).

In an effort to inspire parents of children with sporting ambitions and highlight the essential role that good nutrition and healthy food plays within the lives of Britain’s sporting elite, Weetabix has created a documentary series called How to Grow a Champion. The series stars Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, double gold medallist swimmer Becky Adlington and triple gold medal winning track cyclist Jason Kenny, as children.

How to Grow a Champion features the athletes’ mums sharing their top tips, based on their own personal experiences, for new mums hoping to nurture the next generation of champions.

Sian Porter, consultant dietitian to Weetabix, said: “It is great to hear that so many children are feeling inspired to get into sport and hopefully this ambition is encouraged by getting them to be physically active.

“No matter what careers children are dreaming of though, one of the best ways all mums and dads can support them is to set a good example when it comes to eating well as good habits developed in childhood last a lifetime. Parents should be encouraging their children to eat breakfast every day as it helps provides the energy little ones need to be physically active, learn and grow.”

The documentaries can be watched on the Weetabix Food Co. YouTube channel