Not a Cliché: The Most Important Meal of the Day
Overwhelmingly, science has proven that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, affecting performance from the classroom to the boardroom, with numerous benefits beyond education and success, including improved nutrient intakes and better overall health. In fact, eating breakfast regularly has been linked with greater intakes of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals, and lower intakes of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Kids who eat breakfast have
Higher test scores 1-7
Improved daily attendance 3,4,7
Better weight-related outcomes 8-14
They also are better nourished, have fewer school health clinic visits, better attention and memory, and are better able to concentrate on learning.
What happens when you skip breakfast?
We all need fuel throughout the day to function – and when you haven’t eaten since the night before, you could experience headaches, exhaustion and trouble focusing. It could even affect your metabolism and blood sugar, causing you to reach for unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
Breakfast? But I don’t have …
Mornings are hectic. Finding your son’s shoes, getting the baby food stain out of your shirt, making sure your daughter has her homework and you have your presentation notes – who has time to make pancakes?
Luckily, breakfast doesn’t have to be a whole production. Make-ahead options like overnight oats or drinkable yogurt give you the nutrient boost you need without forcing you to get up earlier.
Many people just aren’t hungry when they first get up in the morning. Eating too early may even make them nauseated. If that’s you, it’s OK to eat breakfast a little later.
Breakfast in the Classroom programs offer kids the opportunity to eat a later breakfast during the first period of the day. On-the-go breakfasts like smoothies are great for working adults to take to work and sip throughout the morning.
Prepared food can get pricey, especially when you’re buying it to feed the whole family, every day.
Fortunately, dairy offers excellent inexpensive options. Even a cup of yogurt or a glass of milk are going to make a huge difference in your morning. For your kids, take advantage of free or reduced school breakfast.
The most important part of the most important meal
A nutritious breakfast that includes low-fat milk makes up a quarter of a child’s daily nutrient needs. It’s also linked to a higher intake of calcium – a nutrient many Americans are lacking. All the more reason to make sure milk is on the menu every morning.
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