THE Cancer Council is calling on parents to boost the brekkie habits of Queensland kids, with figures showing one in six school children across the state regularly skip breakfast.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 15.9 per cent of Queensland school children skip breakfast, above the national average of 14.8 per cent.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said missing the first meal of the day was a worrying trend that was getting worse.
"Five years ago 10.8 per cent of Australian school children skipped breakfast - that's increased by four per cent in a very short timeframe," Ms Clift said.
"Eating a nutritious, substantial breakfast is an essential part of having a healthy, balanced diet.
"Research reinforces the importance of breakfast in improving brain function in children - they can focus better, are more alert and able to concentrate while at school.
"Making breakfast a non-negotiable meal will give children a better chance of having a healthier diet overall, reducing their risk of a range of chronic diseases long term."
One in three cancers are preventable through lifestyle factors including eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight.
Having a poor diet can cause children to become overweight or obese, increasing the risk of a range of chronic diseases including some cancers.
"There are plenty of quick, nutritious and delicious options for sit down meals, or a brekkie on-the-go," Ms Clift said.
"Aim for a breakfast high in fibre, low in saturated fat and full of vitamins and minerals - and get the kids involved in preparation!
"A smoothie made from reduced-fat milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt is a great option for a healthy brekkie on the run.
"Choose untoasted muesli, oats, eggs on wholegrain toast with tomato, or even wholegrain cereal with reduced-fat milk, topped with fresh fruit and berries.
"Individual oat sachets or small healthy cereal packets, low fat yoghurt and a small tin of fruit in natural juice or wholegrain toast with avocado are also great options."
Schools, businesses and community groups can join the QUEST toward better breakfasts and a healthier lifestyle at quest.org.au.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
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