Children are back in school and developing habits for this new academic year. As parents, we want our students to do their best. So parents should be sure their children eat breakfast every day.
Research shows that improved nutrition — starting with breakfast — coupled with increased physical activity may lead to improved academic performance.
National statistics show that only 38 percent of teenagers eat breakfast every day. Ohio teens are below this national average, with only 30 percent of students eating breakfast each day.
Those who eat breakfast have better attention and memory than those who skip breakfast. Researchers compared a composite scan showing brain activity of students while sitting quietly with another scan showing brain activity after 20 minutes of physical activity, such as recess. The scan taken after the exercise shows improved cognition.
As a dietitian, I often have people ask me how to improve their children’s diets. Small steps can make a big difference.
Be a role model — get active and eat breakfast every day. Whole grain cereal, low-fat yogurt, and fresh fruit are easy and nutritious ways to fuel up your kids.
The bottom line: Healthy students are better students.
Nutrition Affairs Director American Dairy Association Mideast Perrysburg
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