As students prepare to start a new school year, parents want to equip them with all the back to school essentials for academic success. To help students reach their full potential in the classroom, make sure your child doesn’t miss out on the most important meal of the day – breakfast – as it can play a key role in enhancing academic performance.
Many students don’t eat breakfast and as a result, they suffer the consequences, both nutritionally and in the classroom. A growing body of research supports the “learning connection” — the crucial link between quality nutrition, physical activity and academic performance. Here are a few key findings:
- Students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory than students who don’t.
- Students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores, and improve their cognitive speed and memory.
- Students who were more active during school performed better on standardized tests for reading, math and spelling.
- Eating breakfast at school is linked to improvements in student behavior, fewer absences and limited class disruptions.
“We’ve long considered breakfast important because it gives kids the fuel they need to conquer the day ahead, and now we are finding that students who eat breakfast actually perform better in school,” said Alyssa Greenstein, RD, LD/N, senior manager of nutrition affairs communications with Florida Dairy Farmers and president-elect of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Breakfast helps boosts brain power, and making it a priority each morning can yield positive results academically and physically for kids.”
Whether students eat breakfast at school or at home, it’s important to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into their meal. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt can deliver nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of high quality protein, that help kids maintain a healthy diet.
There are many healthy and tasty breakfast options to help get your child off to a great start in the morning. Breakfast foods like fruit and yogurt smoothies, yogurt topped with granola, low-fat cheese sticks and whole-grain cereal with fruit and low-fat milk are nutritious and can be prepared quickly with little effort.
For more information about Florida Dairy Farmers or to discover more healthy breakfast ideas for your child, visitwww.floridamilk.com.