Do you make time for breakfast? It can be a real challenge in this fast-paced life. But, what happens in the middle of the morning when you have not had breakfast? How do you feel? I know that I am not as alert as I should be.
If you have children who are starting to get ready for another school year don’t let them go to school hungry. Start your school year routine out with a good breakfast or enroll your child in the school breakfast program. A child without breakfast will not be able to concentrate. Learning is interrupted until that child eats. The bottom line is: “A hungry child cannot learn.”
If a child does not have good quality food during all periods of childhood, the cognitive development of that child is handicapped. Not enough food, or poor quality food can cause children to have behavior, attention, and learning problems. Poor nutrition impacts school performance and the overall development of a child. Yet, this issue affects thousands of children each day. Most importantly, it is so easy to prevent.
A balanced breakfast is needed including protein, complex carbohydrates and fat. This involves choosing food from at least three food groups. A child who eats a breakfast containing only juice and dry cereal without milk will run out of energy by mid-morning because the breakfast lacks protein and fat. In addition to common breakfast choices such as cereal with milk and fruit, try incorporating non-traditional breakfast foods like cheese, crackers and grapes or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk.
Give both you and your children the advantage by starting the day with a good breakfast.
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension.