Kids And Breakfast

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I recently read that an estimated 40% of children go to school without breakfast. Often, during standardized testing season, parents are a little more intentional about making sure that their children eat breakfast. However, although most people know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many children don’t eat breakfast at home or at school.

Studies have shown that:

  • Students who eat breakfasts have a general increase in math grades and reading scores, increased student attention, reduced nurse visits, and improved behavior.

  • Kids who eat a healthy breakfast “meet their daily nutritional needs, keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and attend school more frequently.

  • Children “who eat breakfast are more likely than children who skip breakfast to consume foods with adequate levels of minerals and vitamins. and

  • Kids “who skip breakfast don’t make up for the missed calories at other meals.

Parents have many reasons for not giving their kids breakfast. Often, it’s because they’re rushed in the morning, but since student intelligence and academic performance have been shown to be affected in kids who don’t eat breakfast, it’s very important that parents make the time.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be home-made biscuits and omelets. There are many quick and easy meals that you can give your kids that are also nutritious. Along with considering allowing your child to eat breakfast at school, the American Dietetic Association makes these food suggestions:

  • Ready-to-eat cereal with fruit and milk;

  • Toasted bagel with cheese;

  • Fruit-filled breakfast bar and yogurt;

  • Toasted waffle topped with fruit and yogurt;

  • Fruit smoothie; or

  • Peanut butter on whole-wheat toast.

Preparing the food the night before helps you to remember to eat breakfast and doesn’t take up your time in the morning. A healthy breakfast can get your child’s day off to a healthy start and help them to perform better at school. Remember that after your child has gone 8 — 10 hours or more without food, if you send them off to school without breakfast they are running on empty.

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