Breakfast can aid learning in schoolSchool begins soon, so family routines may be changing. If you’re in a rush don’t skip the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast helps children and adults concentrate better, which improves school and work performance.
By: Luella Morehouse, The Jamestown Sun
School begins soon, so family routines may be changing. If you’re in a rush don’t skip the most important meal of the day.
Eating breakfast helps children and adults concentrate better, which improves school and work performance.
Did you know that the brain uses carbohydrates as its main source of energy? Carbohydrates are found in grains (breads, cereals, rice and pasta), beans, vegetables, fruits, milk and sugars.
After a night of sleep, the body’s carbohydrate stores are low. That is why eating a breakfast that includes grains provides fuel for the brain. By feeding your child’s brain, you will help him or her to do better in school.
Kids and adults who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day, which can help with weight management.
“I don’t like breakfast!” Have you ever heard your child say this in the morning? It may be that he or she doesn’t like so-called “breakfast” foods. You may be relieved to know that it is perfectly okay to eat all kinds of foods such as sandwiches, soup or leftovers. The important thing is that your child eats in the morning.
Help your child start every day ready to learn:
Eat at home, eat at school or pack a banana and bagel to eat on the way. The important thing is to just eat breakfast.
Set a good example by eating breakfast with your child. Parents benefit too when they eat in the morning.
If kids are not hungry right away, suggest they pack a breakfast or wait and eat at school.
Involve your child. Make breakfast fun by planning the menu with your child the night before. In the morning, work together to get breakfast on the table.
Choose your cereal wisely. Read and compare Nutrition Facts labels. Breakfast cereal provides a variety of vitamins and minerals in every bowl. Choose high-fiber, whole-grain cereal, such as oatmeal. Top with naturally sweet raisins or dried cranberries.
Have some protein. Enjoy some milk, yogurt, cheese or peanut butter. They will be less likely to feel hungry mid-morning.
Aim for variety. Include three or four different food groups in the morning meal. People who have a fruit for breakfast are more likely to meet the daily goal.
For busy mornings, stock easy-to-grab foods. Yogurt, string cheese, bananas, apples, 100 percent juice boxes, breakfast bars and whole wheat toaster waffles are a few healthy options.
Take advantage of school breakfast programs. They provide a balanced meal to fuel children for learning. Check with your school on their breakfast and lunch program. Remember to sign up your children if you qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, FNP Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 116 1/2 First Street East, Jamestown. Morehouse may be reached at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu edu.