Breakfast proves beneficial to students

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Breakfast proves beneficial to students

Senior Reese  Lovell eats breakfast before school.

Senior Reese Lovell eats breakfast before school.

Jacob Maska

Senior Reese Lovell eats breakfast before school.

Jacob Maska

Jacob Maska

Senior Reese Lovell eats breakfast before school.

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You wake up and hear your alarm go off. Do you sleep 10 extra minutes, or get up and eat breakfast?

Unfortunately, a lot of students decide to skip breakfast. Breakfast is very important, and provides individuals with energy to help get them through the day.

Nutrition teacher Michelle Thacker thinks it is important that students eat a well-balanced breakfast before school each morning.

“Breakfast provides the nutrients and energy you need to start the day,” Thacker said. “There are six essentials nutrients we must have–vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, fat and water. Not to mention a certain number of calories to help maintain weight. Having a meal in the morning is an important way to ensure this.”

School nurse Jessica Roe agrees it is important for students to eat breakfast.

“Breakfast is very beneficial and helps get your day started,” Roe said. “Skipping breakfast is never a good idea because you never know when you are going to eat lunch.”

Certain students like freshman Hope Schumacher always eat breakfast before school, and notice a difference in their academic performance.

“I eat breakfast before school, because I get moody otherwise,” Schumacher said. “I definitely feel like it affects my performance in school.”

Conversely, some students never eat breakfast and don’t notice a difference in their performance.

“I don’t eat breakfast, because it upsets my stomach,” sophomore Hannah Schumacher said. “It does not affect my performance in school.”

According to a study published in the journal, “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine,” students who increased their participation in school breakfast programs had significantly higher math scores than students who skipped or rarely ate breakfast. As an added benefit, the group of students who increased breakfast participation also had decreased rates of tardiness and absences.

Thacker also notices a difference in students when they eat breakfast before school.

“There is no question students perform better when they eat breakfast,” Thacker said. “If hunger and satisfying the appetite is what is on the mind, learning takes a back seat. Not being hungry is a level of comfort, and being uncomfortable in this capacity is not conductive to learning activity.”

Not all breakfast food is healthy, though. Certain cereals, Pop Tarts, doughnuts and more, have a lot of sugar and empty calories. Some examples of healthy breakfasts include fresh fruits or granola bars. Both are examples of things that are easy to grab on the go, and relatively inexpensive.

“I stress the importance of eating something for breakfast,” Thacker said. “Make good choices and avoid things like candy and pop in the mornings. Those just add empty calories and no, or little nutritional value. Consider non-traditional breakfast foods if that will entice a person to eat in the morning. Things like sandwiches with whole grain bread and even leftovers from the day before are great, as long as they hold some nutritional value. Bottom line-eat a variety of foods at regular intervals throughout the day. Do not skip breakfast.”

21abrull@usd489.com

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