Breakfast Boosts Brain Power (page 2)
Breakfast Boosts Brain Power ~
Although families differ, there are some things that all parents have in common: They want their children to be healthy, to grow and to learn.~
Most of us know that nutrition is important for health and growth. Now scientists are showing that nutrition, particularly breakfast, helps kids learn.
Studies from around the United States have shown:
Kids who eat breakfast seem to have an easier time learning than kids who don't eat breakfast.
*are able to concentrate on learning bullet make fewer errors bullet
*are more creative
Kids who eat breakfast behave better in school than hungry kids.
*cause fewer fights
*are more cooperative
*are less likely to be sent to the principal's office for a discipline problem
*get along better with classmates
Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to be in school than non-breakfast eaters.
Breakfast eaters are :
*less likely to be absent
*less likely to be late
less likely to be sitting in the school nurse's office with a stomachache or headache
Hunger - the Silent Culprit.
For adults, hunger can be uncomfortable. However, most adults know how to deal with hunger. Either they get something to eat or they compensate (by focusing on something else.)
For Children, hunger can be a much bigger problem. When hunger strikes, kids lose their focus. Some stay at their desk and fade. Others "feel sick" and ask to go to the school nurse. And others just poke the kid next to them. No matter how a child responds to the discomfort of hunger, all children lose out on learning when they don't eat breakfast.
Prevent Morning Hunger
*A simple breakfast at home or school can ensure that your child doesn't start the day hungry.
*It also ensures that your child has the nutrients and energy he or she needs during the morning to concentrate on learning, think clearly, and be on their best behavior.
But I don't have time to make my family a hot breakfast.
Gone are the days of Mom or Dad standing over the stove flipping buttermilk pancakes, frying bacon or scrambling eggs for breakfast on a weekday morning. But that doesn't mean you have to say good-bye to a nutritious breakfast.
A good breakfast can be very simple. To be nutritious, a meal should have foods from the Five Food Groups. For breakfast, try to include foods from at least 3 different food groups. Below you will find 10 quick nutritious breakfasts that take less than 3 minutes to fix.
1. Toasted English muffin, peanut butter, glass of milk.
2. Cold cereal, banana and milk.
3. Heated leftover cheese pizza.
4. Crackers and cheese, orange wedges.
5. Carton of yogurt, apple, and wheat toast.
6. Ham and cheese sandwich with glass of chocolate milk.
7. Heated leftover macaroni and cheese with an apple.
8. Instant oatmeal, canned peaches, milk.
9. Baby carrots, mozzarella cheese stick, and a bagel.
10. Tomato soup made with milk and crackers.
How To Make Sure Your Kids Eat Breakfast
Step 1: Keep Breakfast Foods on Hand. Make sure you always have at least 3 easy-to-serve items from each food group in the house. Pick foods that you and your kids like. Here are some ideas:
|Milk Group||Meat Group||Fruit Group||Vegetable Group||Grain Group|
|Milk (white or chocolate)||Peanut butter||Fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, oranges or grapes||Raw baby carrots||Bread(white, wheat, rye)|
|Cheese(slices, sticks or chunks)||Sliced Meat||Dried Fruits such as raisins||Raw celery||Crackers|
|Yogurt||Eggs||Canned Fruit such as fruit cocktail||Tomatoes or green peppers||Cold cereal|
|Cottage Cheese||Melon or berries||Instant hot cereal|
Step 2: Keep breakfast foods highly visible and in convenient spots for kids to grab.
* Make sure your kids know where various foods are stored.
* Keep breakfast foods on lower cabinet and refrigerator shelves so younger children can reach them.
* Store fresh fruit on the counter where it is easily seen.
* Store leftovers that kids can eat for breakfast in see-through containers or in containers covered with clear plastic wrap.
* Keep single serve containers of milk available for your kids to grab.
* As your child grows, teach them appropriate kitchen skills needed to prepare breakfast:
~Teach 4 and 5 year olds how to:
*Open a yogurt carton
~Teach 6 and 7 year olds how to:
*Pour milk without spilling
*Make a simple sandwich
~Teach 8 and 9 year olds how to:
*Use a toaster
*Use a knife safely to spread peanut butter, jelly, butter, etc.
~Teach kids 10 and older how to:
*Use the microwave
* Be sure to demonstrate these kitchen skills and watch your child practice the skill several times before you let them do it on their own. Supervised practice is the best way to avoid a mess - and to make sure your child doesn't get hurt.
Step 3: Be a role model. Eat breakfast.
One of the most powerful ways to help your child develop a habit, is to model that habit. If you want your child to eat breakfast so he or she goes to school ready to learn, eat breakfast yourself.
* Try one of the 3-minute-or-less recipes.
* Focus on "grab-and-go" foods; a carton of yogurt, a cheese stick, a bagel, a glass of milk. Any food that can be eaten without utensils works fine.
* Ask your child to prepare a one- or two-item breakfast for you. Eat it while you're getting ready for work.
* Try eating breakfast for a week. Notice any change in your performance, energy, or mood during your morning. Experiencing the positive results of eating breakfast may persuade you to find time to fit it into your daily schedule. No appetite first thing in the morning?
* Start small. Try a piece of fruit or half a carton of yogurt.
* Get ready for work first. By the time you've been up for a while, you may feel hungry.
* Pack a breakfast to eat later. Select grab- and go- items that you can take to work. When hunger hits, pull out your breakfast. Encourage kids to eat at school, if they don't get a chance to eat at home. Did you know:
* Lots of schools around the country offer breakfast as well as lunch for students.
* The National School Breakfast Program is:
~designed to offer children a nutritious morning meal that provides one-fourth of a student's daily needs for key nutrients including calcium.
~a great help to parents who don't have time to prepare a morning meal every day.
~great for kids who aren't hungry first thing in the morning.
~some children are eligible to get breakfast for free or for a reduced rate.
Any other child who wants to eat breakfast at school can buy it for a small cost.
How does breakfast contribute to a child's health?
Children who don't eat breakfast are less likely to consume all the essential nutrients they need each day to thrive. One of the nutrients that children may not be getting enough of its calcium - the bone building mineral found in milk and other dairy foods.
Eating a nutritious breakfast is a great way for children to be on target to meet their daily needs for key nutrients including calcium. Kids 4 to 8 years old need at least 3 servings of milk or Milk Group foods daily and kids 9 to 18 years old need at least 4 servings to get adequate calcium and other key nutrients.
What if I like cooking in the Morning?
Great! Here are a couple of quick tips for you:
* Plan hot breakfasts around the Five Food Groups. Try to include at least three of the Five Food Groups in any breakfast.
* Make life easier by making one of those food groups the Milk Group. Just pour a glass of your child's favorite milk (lowfat, fat free, whole, chocolate, strawberry, whatever) and you've got one food group handled in about 15 seconds!
* If you have access to the Internet, you might want to check out breakfast recipes at the following Websites: www.NutritionExploration.org www.3ADay.org Remember:
* Wherever your child eats breakfast
* Whether it's hot or whether it's cold
* Breakfast boosts Brain Power
* And that's as good as gold!
Copyright 2007 by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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