Thursday, August 14, 2008

Break-the-fast...back to school breakfast tips

Recent media article by Momentum Nutrition...

Better Breakfast = Better Student
A Daily Nutritious Breakfast Helps Students Succeed

Seattle - Back-to-school sales have begun and students are getting their wardrobe updated and buying supplies for the coming school year. But many students and their parents may be overlooking a key component to success – breakfast. Several studies have shown that students who have a healthy breakfast every morning perform better than students who don’t. And students who eat breakfast are less inclined to consume sugary mid-morning snacks.

“Breakfast packs a nutrition punch! It provides the base of vitamins, minerals and energy for the day. It kick starts our metabolism and gets our brain and muscles running strong,” said Emily Edison, RD, owner of Seattle based Momentum Nutrition and Western Washington director of the Washington Interscholastic Nutrition Forum (WINForum – “A nutritious breakfast meets 25% of the recommended daily allowances of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and C for good health. When kids eat breakfast they concentrate better, do better in class and score higher on tests.”

Many students claim they don’t have time to eat breakfast. But as the recipes posted on Better ( show, a nutritious breakfast can be made and consumed quickly. “Heading out the door with some yogurt and fruit is a good start. Or try toast with peanut butter,” said Edison. “Even leftover pasta or cold pizza is better than nothing.”

Children often skip breakfast saying “I’m not hungry.” Edison said it’s important for people to train their body to want breakfast. Starting with light and quick foods like yogurt drinks or a microwaved egg sandwich is one way to get students into the habit of eating breakfast. Grab-and-go breakfasts are also a good option.

“Breakfast is designed to “break-the-fast”. When students skip breakfast, blood sugar levels continue to plummet, and fatigue, poor concentration, irritability and lethargy result,” added Edison, who is also a sports dietitian for the University of Washington Athletic Department.

Without a nutritious breakfast, it is hard for a student to meet their nutritional needs for the day, especially in calcium and fiber. Breakfast is essential because it is often the only time some children actually drink milk, making it one of few opportunities to get any measurable calcium. A simple solution is a bowl of oatmeal made with 1 cup of low-fat milk topped with berries and crushed walnuts provide both energy and fiber (oatmeal and walnuts) and calcium (milk) plus vitamin C and antioxidants (berries).

“Breakfast supplies more than just the energy to get through the morning” said Edison. “Teens who eat breakfast are up to five times more likely to consume at least two-thirds the recommended amounts of most vitamins and minerals, including iron.” Iron deficiency anemia has long been known to have a negative effect on behavior and learning. Vitamin C breakfast foods like orange juice or berries, enhance the absorption of iron. Also, teens who ate breakfast regularly had a lower percentage of total calories from saturated fat and ate more fiber and carbohydrates than those who skipped breakfast. Finally, regular breakfast eaters seemed more physically active.

In addition to, students and parents can go to for breakfast and snack ideas.

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