Start the Day Strong
We’re diving deep into the importance of the first meal of the day with Gay Anderson, School Nutrition Specialist and President of the School Nutrition Association. Gay details what a healthy breakfast should look like, how it can help your child succeed in and outside of the classroom and ways to encourage them to enjoy their first meal of the day.
What Is a Healthy Breakfast?
“A breakfast with the right combination of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats will help your children reap the most benefit and feel full for hours. This is true of any meal, but extra-important in the morning,” says Gay. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy and protein—choose at least three of the food groups and your student will be set!
KEEP IT BALANCED
What Are the Benefits of Breakfast?
Sending them off with a full stomach has many benefits. In addition to giving them a head start on their daily nutrition needs, Gay reminds us, “eating breakfast can make a significant difference in math, reading and standardized test scores.” It can also boost moods, leaving students feeling less restless and more focused during longer lectures.
How Can I Encourage Students to Eat?
Be flexible about options and think routine, not perfection—tips that have been key to School Nutrition Association programs (and can easily be applied at home!) Breakfast doesn’t have to be a bowl of cereal or scrambled eggs. What about breakfast pizza or overnight oats to-go? Eating breakfast at school is a healthy, convenient and affordable choice when time is limited.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.