Breakfast Quality of Preschool-aged Canadian Children

Publication: Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
25 August 2022


Purpose: To investigate the breakfast quality of preschool-aged children through a comparison of their energy and nutrient intakes at breakfast to published benchmarks for a balanced breakfast.
Methods: Dietary data were collected for 163 children aged 3–5 years enrolled in the Guelph Family Health Study using one parent-reported online 24-hour recall and analyzed for energy and nutrient intakes. Breakfast quality was assessed by tallying the frequency of participants whose nutrient and energy intakes at their breakfast meal met the recommendations for a balanced breakfast established by the International Breakfast Research Initiative (IRBI).
Results: Almost all participants (98%) consumed breakfast, and most participants (82.5%) met the energy IRBI recommendation. However, the majority of participants did not meet the IRBI recommendations for breakfast intakes of most macronutrients and micronutrients. In particular, fewer than 25% of participants met the IRBI recommendations for breakfast intakes of dietary fibre, niacin, folate, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and zinc.
Conclusions: Almost all preschool-aged children in this study consumed breakfast, but the nutritional quality of their breakfast did not meet recommendations for most nutrients. These results can inform nutrition education and intervention programs for children that aim to improve the nutritional quality of breakfast.


Objectif. Évaluer la qualité du déjeuner d’enfants d’âge préscolaire en comparant leurs apports en énergie et en nutriments au déjeuner aux références publiées concernant un déjeuner équilibré.
Méthodes. Des données alimentaires ont été recueillies à propos de 163 enfants âgés de 3 à 5 ans inscrits à l’étude Guelph Family Health Study à l’aide d’un rappel en ligne de 24 heures soumis par les parents puis ont été analysées pour connaître l’apport en énergie et en nutriments. La qualité du déjeuner a été évaluée en comptabilisant la fréquence où les participants avaient un apport en nutriments et en énergie au déjeuner conforme aux recommandations pour un déjeuner équilibré établies par l’International Breakfast Research Initiative (IRBI).
Résultats. Presque tous les participants (98 %) déjeunaient et la plupart d’entre eux (82,5 %) respectaient la recommandation énergétique de l’IRBI. Toutefois, la majorité des participants ne respectaient pas les recommandations de l’IRBI concernant les apports au déjeuner en la plupart des macronutriments et micronutriments. En particulier, moins de 25 % des participants respectaient les recommandations de l’IRBI concernant les apports au déjeuner en fibres alimentaires, en niacine, en acide folique, en vitamine C, en calcium, en potassium et en zinc.
Conclusions. La quasi-totalité des enfants d’âge préscolaire ayant participé à cette étude déjeunaient, mais la qualité nutritionnelle de leur déjeuner n’était pas conforme aux recommandations pour la plupart des nutriments. Ces résultats peuvent orienter les programmes d’éducation et d’intervention en matière de nutrition destinés aux enfants et visant à améliorer la qualité nutritionnelle du déjeuner.

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Information & Authors


Published In

cover image Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
Volume 84Number 1March 2023
Pages: 58 - 61
Editor: Naomi Cahill


Received: 16 June 2021
Accepted: 1 June 2022
Version of record online: 25 August 2022

Key Words

  1. ASA-24
  2. breakfast quality
  3. dietary assessment
  4. Guelph Family Health Study
  5. international breakfast research initiative
  6. preschool-aged children


  1. ASA24
  2. qualité du déjeuner
  3. évaluation de l’alimentation
  4. Guelph Family Health Study
  5. International Breakfast Research Initiative
  6. enfants d’âge préscolaire



Erin K. Smith BSc
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Rebecca Lewis MSc, RD
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Andrea C. Buchholz PhD, RD
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Jess Haines PhD, RD
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
David W. L. Ma PhD
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Alison M. Duncan PhD, RD
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
the Guelph Family Health Study

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