Fuel up on breakfast brain food

By Tanya Davis | Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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It’s that time of year again. School time! I hope that everyone’s year gets off to an exciting start. Being sure to take time to enjoy a nutritional breakfast is one of the ways children and parents alike can keep that high level of enthusiasm throughout the school year or even just a regular work week.

When we don’t supply our brains with enough energy for the day, we tend to become irritable, lethargic and even develop headaches. The best solution to avoid these things is to make sure our body is taking in the calories and nutrients it needs to help us think clearly the whole day. The best place to start is with breakfast.

Breakfast literally means “to break the fast.” When we wake up in the morning, it has been about eight hours or more since the last time we’ve eaten any food. A healthy breakfast can improve our attention and concentration on our morning tasks. This is especially important for school-age kids. Teachers often report that children who don’t eat breakfast become restless and inattentive by late morning. Breakfast is also important because it provides about 1/4 our daily calories and nutrients. A nutritious breakfast is exactly what a growing child or teenager needs. Without it they are unlikely to make up this nutritional loss through other meals/snacks during the day.

A healthy breakfast can be as simple as a banana and peanut butter sandwich. Make that bread whole-grain, and you have an even healthier meal. Low-fat milk and cereal, toasted cheese sandwich and orange juice, even a leftover slice of pizza will help you make it through the morning. Include some protein to help your breakfast last until your next meal.

And finally, be sure that as the parent you set a good example for your children. Parents serve as role models for healthy eating behaviors to their children. It is vitally important to make breakfast a part of your family’s daily routine.

To learn more about healthy breakfast options, call Wise County’s Texas AgriLife Extension office at (940) 627-3341.

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