Morning Meal Appeals: Why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day

Did you know….

Many of our 8th grade students are testing into honors freshman writing classes at their future high schools?

When families who are considering Calvary for their child come for a tour, they often ask the same question. “Where do your graduates attend high school?” Whether their child is entering Kindergarten, 6th grade, or even preschool, families are looking ahead and working to make a good decision for the long haul. We love when families ask this because it gives us a chance to talk about the ways our students are entering the next stage of their education successfully and confidently. We strive to make sure that every student who leaves Calvary is well equipped spiritually, socially, and academically to thrive, and we hear story after story from parents, students, and high school administrators about how our students are doing just that. These test results are just the latest evidence. Keep reading for an example of some of this exemplary writing!

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Morning Meal Appeals: Why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day

foodPicture this: You are sitting in your second-period class listening to your teacher’s lecture. All of a sudden, the dreaded, uncomfortable feeling of hunger settles into your empty stomach as a result of skipping your breakfast. You are not alone. This situation has occurred for millions of people across America, because although many have heard their mothers say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a survey conducted by the NPD Group showed that 31,000,000 Americans go without it daily. Nevertheless, regularly eating a nutritious breakfast is crucial for overall improved lifestyles in the future leaders of America- children, teenagers, and you!

First of all, consuming healthy breakfasts can help improve a student’s academic achievement. Dr. Beth Reames, nutritionist at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station said, “With breakfast, students will think faster and clearer and will have better recall.”

A study from the University of Iowa showed that children from low-income households who took part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program had greater improvement levels in science, math, and reading when compared to students who did not eat school breakfasts. This is merely one out of numerous studies that displays the positive association between breakfast and improved school performance in students, showing that starting their day with a healthy morning meal can effectively benefit their brains. To eliminate any bias or unfounded results, one observational study proved that breakfast benefits a student’s academic success even after controlling the factors for wealth and levels of intelligence in the parents. The researchers additionally took into account variables such as parental education, occupation of the parents, and their current household status, while finding that breakfast still led to academic improvement when compared to children who irregularly ate their morning meal. In a study containing 1269 kindergarteners from Jintan, China, the children who regularly consumed breakfast were shown to have greater verbal and full IQ scores when compared to kids who consumed breakfast on an irregular basis. While keeping the parents’ intelligence and socioeconomic variables controlled, and while taking into account other differing variables for each child, breakfast-eaters still had higher verbal and full 1Q scores, proving that breakfast truly has a direct association with improved academics in students.

Secondly, habitually consuming healthy breakfasts can assist children in meeting their daily dietary requirements. According to the University of Wisconsin Health Services, breakfast should supply people with about twenty-five percent of the calories and nutrients they need daily. If children miss out on their morning meal, they will also miss one-fourth of their daily nutrition!

The International Food Information Council explains how people who frequently consume breakfast have more vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, riboflavin, fiber, iron, and zinc in their overall food intake when compared to breakfast-skippers. These nutrients, especially calcium, are important for children to regularly consume in order to grow tall and strong. Essential nutrients enter a child’s diet with the handy help of their morning meal.

Some people may say that breakfast is unnecessary if you eat healthily during lunch and dinner. However, while others may believe that they can easily make up for their missed nutrients through other meals in the day, it is untrue.

According to a statistic from the Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media, four out of five children fail to meet their daily dietary requirements while eating lunch and dinner alone. This verifies that only consuming lunch and dinner does not suffice; breakfast is needed to complete a child’s full daily nutrient consumption.

Lastly, consuming healthy morning meals can provide children and adolescents with energy-boosts to get through the day in an active, lively manner. Harvard Medical School explains how breakfast truly indicates its literal meaning, which is “breaking the fast.” After sleeping for many hours, our muscles and brains are low on the blood sugar which gives them energy, so breakfast helps restore that glucose. Dr. David S. Ludwig, expert of nutrition at the Children’s Hospital Boston, said, “But if we miss the day’s first meal, we may start tapping our energy reserves- including what’s stored in our muscle.”

Thus, our bodies need breakfast as fuel for the day after a long period of rest. Our weak muscles and brains yearn for the glucose from our morning meals to provide them with the energy to work correctly and well. Breakfast re-energizes us after going multiple hours without food so that we can have strength for our day’s work, and the boost we need to power through.

A 2010 study in the U.K. showed that children and teenagers who infrequently or never ate breakfast had a greater chance of having low levels of physical activity. The researchers found that regularly eating breakfast was linked to higher levels of physical activity in children and adolescents of both genders, and that habitual breakfast consumption was even associated with increased cardiorespiratory strength in boys. From this study, it proved that an easy morning meal makes a big difference- increasing levels of activity in students from the small boost of energy it gives.

Breakfast is important, and it should not be perceived as an insignificant meal of the past. Eating breakfast improves academics and memory in students, helps children consume the essential nutrients they need, and “breaks the fast” for children and teenagers to have energy for their day ahead. Therefore, all adolescents and children should listen to their mothers, including you, because Momma was right all along. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

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