It’s September which means school is back in session! With schedule changes and early mornings its not uncommon for students to head to school hungry. In fact, more than half (62%) of all teens say they do not eat breakfast every day of the week. Skipping breakfast can mean that going for 15-17 hours without food. This can lead to kids feeling more tired, restless, or irritable during the day. Therefore, starting the day with a nutritious breakfast can help students reach their potential throughout the school year.
Reasons to consume breakfast:
1) Breakfast sets the curve for success. Kids who eat a morning meal perform better in the classroom and have better overall nutrition.
2) Research shows that kids who eat a morning meal have better memory, attention and behavior.
3) Breakfast leads to better nutrition. Children who skip it doesn’t typically make up the nutrients they miss at other meals throughout the day.
When choosing breakfast options, it is important to keep in mind foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein. By providing a nutritious breakfast, children are more likely to get all of the essential nutrients they need each day to thrive. Breakfast can also help children consume key nutrients, like calcium!
Tips for eating breakfast at home:
- Prepare as much as you can the night before
- Get everyone up 10 minutes earlier
- Let kids help plan and prepare breakfast
- Have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit, individual boxes of cereal, yogurt or smoothies, trail-mix) on days when there is little or no time to eat
If you don’t have early risers, encourage students to eat breakfast at school. School breakfasts are cost-effective, nutritious and convenient options for kids. They supply 1/4 of the Recommended Daily Allowances of nutrients that a child needs.
Breakfast options in school:
- Breakfast in the cafeteria
- Breakfast in the classroom
- Grab -n- Go Breakfast
Now, who’s hungry for breakfast?
American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Through Healthy School Environment, March 2013.
Donnelly JE, Greene JL, Gibson CA, et al. Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC): A randomized controlled trial to promote physical activity and diminish overweight and obesity in elementary school children. Preventive Medicine. 2009;49(4):336–341.
Eaton DK, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States 2011, Surveillance Summary No. 61(SS04);1-162. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6104a1.htm. Accessed on January 31, 2013.
Midwest Dairy. midwestdairy.com
Wesnes KA, Pincock C, Richardson D, et al. Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in school children. Appetite. 2003;41:329-331.