Ease your children's anxiety over their next big tests by serving a nutritious breakfast. Whole grains, dairy products and fruit, especially, are linked to beneficial effects in the classroom. These foods provide filling fiber to provide energy and ward off hunger as well as essential vitamins and minerals to keep students sharp. If your kids don't usually eat a sit-down breakfast, surprise them by joining them at the table. Parents pass good breakfast habits along this way.
Breakfast and Testing Ability
While your children sleep, their bodies rest and their blood-sugar levels dip. Breakfast restores their energy to allow for peak concentration, memory searches and effective problem solving on test day. Without this nutrition, their moods, attention spans and thinking ability can all negatively impact their school performance. With it, they do better on a number of test types, including vocabulary and math.
Fiber and protein provide enough fuel to get kids out the door and into their seats for test time. If they're running late and might miss the bus, toss portable breakfast foods into a lunch bag. A bran muffin, banana, cereal bar, bagel and peanut butter, stick of string cheese, box of raisins, or a cup of yogurt can tide your child over until the next meal.
When there's time to assemble breakfast but not to cook, let your toaster do the work while you pour the milk and fortified orange juice. Bagels and cream cheese, frozen waffles and peanut butter or whole-wheat toast and jam provide the basic fiber and protein students need to stay alert. Add a banana, apple or kiwi for the vitamin C to help kids stay well and provide the potassium that helps them grow strong.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, students who eat a complete meal work faster and make fewer errors on math tests. Breakfast can improve reading ability and recall, two vital test skills. Fix your children a balanced breakfast drawn from each of the fruit, dairy, grain, vegetable and protein food groups. To promote their best efforts, wrap tortillas around scrambled eggs using a bit of ranch dressing for flavor and to hold the wraps together, or fill them with beans and rice, cheese and tomato salsa. Serve the breakfast burritos with fruit juice and milk.
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- "Journal of the American Dietetic Association"; Breakfast Habits ... and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents; Gail C. Rampersaud, MS, RD, et al.; May 2005
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service; Benefits of Breakfast; March 2009
- Food Research and Action Center; Breakfast for Learning; Fall 2010
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database
- Dave J. Anthony/Photodisc/Getty Images