Encouraging Healthy Starts with Healthy Breakfast
"Don't forget to eat your breakfast!" my mother would call out to me every morning during my school days as I juggled a heavy backpack, bassoon, and art history book. Growing up my mother had always taught us how important a nutritional breakfast was and I knew first hand that my performance at school increased, yet I particularly struggled to wake up early enough to enjoy a great breakfast.
What's the Deal with Eating a Healthy Breakfast?
Eating a healthy breakfast full of protein, carbohydrates, and natural sugars from fruits/veggies benefits students and parents:
- Breakfast eaters have higher daily intakes of micro-nutrients, and are more likely to meet nutrient intake recommendations
- Performance on school work increases with eating breakfast every morning
- And students are more likely to get along better with their peers when their tummy is happy
- Setting an example of eating breakfast everyday, establishes healthy habits that are carried into the future
How to Encourage Kids to Eat Breakfast
- Wake the kids up a bit earlier, simply 10 or 15 minutes will work
- The scent of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs floating through the house is a great motivational tool
- Get their opinion on what they like and what will get them out of bed earlier
- Hide the cereal: Sugary cereals taste great but they aren't great at keeping you full til the lunch bell rings
- Make on-the-go food: granola with yogurt or a quick egg bagel sandwich are perfect for eating on the drive to school
School Breakfast Program & Fuel Up To Play 60
Senior year was a tough year and as such, I usually went to school early most mornings and I discovered a program that would give me a healthy breakfast rather than dropping my change into a vending machine: the School Breakfast Program. This program is a federally assisted meal program, like the National Lunch Program, that offer a nutritious breakfast to students and offer discount or free breakfasts to eligible students. As a senior taking way too many AP classes, I thoroughly enjoyed the School Breakfast Program as it meant I could grab some breakfast and head to my teacher's classroom for a bit of help on homework. Two birds, one full tummy.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program brought about through the partnership of the National Dairy Council and NFL. This program empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. We recently attended a local event in the Salt Lake Valley with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, former NHL stars Mark Koncar & Luther Elliss, and the Dairy Council of Utah & Nevada. Students were provided a free breakfast complete with fruits, protein, and of course TruMoo Chocolate Milk. We even learned that NFL teams keep a fridge stocked full of chocolate milk to help provide them energy after a tough practice session.
And our favorite part, had to have been the milk mustache contest in which the school principal took home the prize.
How do you get make sure your family has a healthy breakfast to start their day?