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Nutritious Breakfast Linked With Improved Student Achievement
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Nutritious Breakfast Linked With Improved Student Achievement

Is your child struggling in school? Does he lack enthusiasm in improving his achievements in the campus? Does he lack the energy to make regular attendance? His morning meal may have something to do with it.

A new report from Toronto District School Board (TDSB) explains that nutritious morning meals play a big role in improving the students' achievement, ability to concentrate, class behavior, and even attendance records in school. This study was a joint effort of Toronto Foundation for Student Success and TDSB who studied 6,000 students between 2008 and 2009. They call this study "Feeding our Future".

According to the report, students who eat nutritious morning meals have better achievement, better ability to concentrate during classes, better class behavior, and even consistent attendance record. And not only that, healthy foods also allow them to develop the four areas of their well-being (physical, emotional, intellectual, and social).

In addition to these findings, students who eat nutritious morning meals are less likely to commit offenses which may lead to suspension. Records also show that these students are easily motivated to attend school regularly and more likely to make it to graduation (17% percent higher than students who sometimes skip breakfast or are not particular with what they eat during breakfast). This is a solid proof that a good nutritional program is very important, not only in our homes but also in our schools.

Moreover, this particular study emphasized the significant improvements in the health of students who take time to eat their nutritious morning meals. The ratings of their health were good to excellent, compared to those who skip breakfast who could be on their way to developing heart disease if done regularly or if it becomes a habit.

Majority of us consider breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but letting our children eat too much during breakfast or allowing them to skip breakfast is not good for them. Every parent should put forth effort to prepare nutritious morning meal for their children. A healthy breakfast that is enough to give energy to start the day right will also be useful in our children's quest in accomplishing important things in school.

While overeating during breakfast is not a good practice, skipping breakfast may also lead to:

  • overeating later in the day
  • wrong choices of food (usually sugary snacks)
  • strong cravings for high-calorie food
  • lost interest to exercise
  • develop heart disease (if skipping breakfast regularly)

A separate study shows that people who skip breakfast are more attracted to the smell, color, and taste of high-calorie foods, compared to the colorful and healthy fruits and vegetables. And this is one major cause of easy weight gain not only for adults but also for the children. However, those who eat nutritious breakfast have lesser desires for high-calorie food and more likely to keep a healthy weight, an active metabolism, and strong interest to exercise.


Street Talk

Good tips! Thanks. Sometimes I do delay breakfast. It's definitely a mistake that I recognize when it happens. Appreciate the reminder in such detail as to why. Memorable article. Helpful.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thank you Cynthia. I just finished reading new update on things that contribute to weight gain. I was surprised to see insufficient sleep on the list. And as usual skipping breakfast is there, too.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I'm really glad to see this subject here Lemuel. And look at all the conversation that has struck up! I think children's diets are extremely important and unfortunately many children do not have breakfast at home because their family is not able to provide it. You end up with school breakfast programs serving the cheapest kind of junk to the kids before school.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thank you Patty. After reading all the comments now I realized this is extremely important topic. I actually got two more updates regarding children's health and fitness. I'll be writing them soon. I hope the parents and schools will work hand in hand in this because a lot of studies already proved that there are significant improvements in the child's behavior as a result of eating healthy foods.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

My Gran used to always say, "eat up your breakfast its the most important meal of the day", and that was before we had scientific proof that it is. Common sense maybe. Good article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thank you. I agree. And I believe the mind and body are designed to be in tuned with each other, but sometimes the mind will have its reasons, and the outcome directly affects the body. More studies are now revealing various illnesses resulting from habitual skipping of breakfast.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A very good article with serious information. There are so many people out there making the mistake of skipping breakfast because they do not know the real damage afterwards.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

You are right Maria. And it's easy to skip breakfast especially when people are at the prime of their lives, but later feel the outcome.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

was skipping my brekkie for a while back and remarkably found i was getting to midday and wanting to faint! i seriously thought that sorta thing only happened to 'other ppl'. have nowsting made the conscious effort to make sure i have a smoothie or piece of fruit at least and that makes all the difference....i can tell you. very interesting study results, thank u Lemuel.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hello and welcome. I guess you were having a busy day when you skipped your brekkie, and forgot about it until midday. :) Yeah, fruits are handy and they can give you enough power. I usually jog at least 1 hour every morning (before sunrise), and choosing either banana, pineapple, or apple makes my jogging experience a good one.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Dear Lemuel, An important article, with regards to providing the right types of food for children, but in many countries children are not that fortunate.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah, most children in the third-world countries have parents who are not particular with nutritious meals. I hope more and more parents in the developed countries see the importance of preparing healthy meals for their children, to develop a good habit in them at such an early age, so that when they grow up they will stay healthy.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

How interesting to see your article today. I was listening to an interview with Sue Dengate on the radio in the car this afternoon. She has written several books and has a website called fedup (it's an 'au' australian site). Such a great advocate for reducing food chemicals in children's diets and even implementing a portion of her advice has had a huge impact on my children. Today she was mentioning a school that did a 2 week program encouraging healthy eating (at school and home) that cut out food additives (including natural ones such as annato). After the program 60% of parents noted improvement in their children's wellbeing and attitude. Articles like yours are so important to raise awareness about what we are feeding our kids. So many parents haven't given it a thought or don't want to know about it. The benefits are unquantifiable they are so many!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

Heather, you know where I stand on this. But, the study you speak of it amazing! I see kids in my daughter's school everyday who are acting up or misbehaving, not because they are bad but because of what they eat! It's amazing as a mom who gives her kids healthy food and minimal sugar, that I can actually SEE the difference in the kids without even knowing what they eat. It's most obvious at soccer. I can tell who had sweets that afternoon and who had fastfood for dinner based on their energy and behavior at soccer. It's sad that their own parents can't tell the difference.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

So true AJ. The radio was also talking about people who are Oppositional Aggressive (in other words they argue a lot, act out and refute authority). The police did a diet study with a group of these young people and found their 'attitude' totally calmed and went away. Now transpose something like this onto a little body eating the same quantities of harmful substances. My son was a classic example (although never diagnosed with a 'label') when he was a pre-schooler. Despite having 2 'good' kids I thought I was just a bad mother that I couldn't handle him. Within 24 hours of modifying his diet we walked to the school to get my older son without a screaming tantrum the whole way because he didn't want to go. I trailed along as he ran and played ahead with tears streaming down my face. Unfortunately many parent have forgotten that children behaving like this is not 'normal'. Recently we were telling funny 'baby' stories at bedtime and my son asked for one about him.... I was shocked to realise that I was struggling to remember any 'good' memories of his early years. How precious that I found out about this before it was much too late.

  
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

How lucky that you modified his diet early enough in life so that the behavior didn't become "normal" to him, which might have made it harder to correct with only a diet change. You're knowledge of these things is truly a blessing.

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

You are right, AJ. The sweets can make the children overexcited, especially during a game. It's amazing how sugar can give them burst of energy. But if you will observe them for the whole 90-minute game, you'll notice that they are super exhausted in the end. But the children who eat fruits and vegetables will still have more energy left in them.

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hi Heather. Just got back from building a new website. It's nice to hear about this. I hope more and more parents will see the importance of preparing nutritious meal for their children. Skipping breakfast is one of the major causes why children overeat and become obese. Processed foods, especially the sugary ones have diverse effect in their behavior, while healthy foods give the children head-start in their growth and development.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Lemuel and welcome to your article...lol... we have a habit of hijacking your comment section. I hope you see it as a compliment that your articles inspire conversation and comment! I do enjoy them.

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah, I actually enjoyed the conversation here. Nice to know also the South African milk tart by Rob. I was surprised to have seen 1 cup white sugar in the recipe. But he said sweet or not it will still be good. Perhaps I'll persuade my wife to make a milk tart. We have the complete ingredients here in our kitchen. Good observation from AJ, too about kids becoming overexcited during a game because of sweets. I just made my reply there.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

We do get used to over sweet in cooking. I standardly cut all sugar in my recipes by up to a half and use a less processed sugar. Baking still works fine and isn't so sickly sweet. It's really just what our taste buds get used to.

  
  about 1 decade ago

I for years could not eat breakfast, maybe a kick back to drinking days when a glass of brandy the item of choice at that time of the morning. However I have learnt to eat it now and without it my day is a non starter. Not like Joan, I quite often start the day with the odd sweet thing, nothing like a slice of milk tart first thing in the morning followed by oats, to start the day on the right foot.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Have to ask Rob, is milk tart similar to a custard tart, a milk pudding on a base or something else. Never heard of it (and here I thought I knew it all.... lol)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

I had to google it, Heather. There's a recipe on all-recipes for one, here in the US we'd call it a custard pie, and add bananas or coconut to it. The recipe sounds yummy though, I might have to try it. Now I need to google custard tart. haha

  
  about 1 decade ago

I am mad about milk tart, there is a very old recipe the Dutch used to make it, I can try and get it to you. But I'm sure what AJ says might be true Linda not here at the moment but on her return will ask her. I hate custard so I'm not sure.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Oh, googling it AJ... what a novel idea!! lol. My family favourite is coconut cream pie. It's awesome but not really a breakfast food... although I'm sure my kids would be impressed. Rob I think anything milky that sets to a firm consistency could be called a custard? Maybe an article from you on the definition of custard?? ;-)

  
  about 1 decade ago

If you would just learn to speak Afrikaans, it is actually Melktert I have sent you a recipe. It is not custard...... MELKTERT ......MILK TART........

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hi Rob. Nice to read good conversations here. I was away and busy setting up my new websites for EzineArticles. Yeah, it was easy to skip breakfast when you were still in the prime of your life. I'm glad you are having a good breakfast now to start your day. I'm not sure if I heard of milk tart before - sounds oddly sweet. :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The operative word MILK its good for you, sweet or not concentrate on the word MILK.......

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

I see it now in the allrecipes website. So, it's a traditional South African Melktert (milk tart) - your morning meal's odd sweet thing. So, it will still taste good even without the 1 cup sugar? I think my wife could easily prepare this. Thank you.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

A well rounded breakfast is very important for everybody. Not doughnuts and coffee, however. Thanks Lemuel.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

That's right, Joan.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Barbara9  

excellent article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thank you Barbara.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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