Breakfast Can Help Kids Do Better In School

Busy mornings don't always equal time for breakfast, but this meal is the best way to help your child get a healthy start to his day. Studies show children who eat breakfast do better in school and have healthier weights than those who skip this important meal.

"Just like adults, children who skip breakfast tend to overeat later in the day," said Arinn Makovsky , MS , RD, dietitian on staff at The Children's Hospital. "Breakfast also provides the fuel your child's body and brain need to wake up and stay alert during the day."

Breakfast Barriers

If you're like many families today, you may face a few obstacles on your way to a healthy breakfast. Makovsky offers solutions for several common problems.

  • You're not sure what to buy. "Standing in the supermarket aisle staring at the wide variety of cereals can be daunting," Makovsky said. "I recommend looking for cereals that contain five grams of fiber and no more than seven grams of sugar per serving."

  • You don't have time to cook or your child doesn't have time to eat. The night before, prepare individual servings of dry cereal and fruit in zip-lock bags for a grab-and-go meal. Or, toast a waffle, top with peanut butter and a banana, and hand it to your child as he heads out the door. He's tired of cereal; you're out of healthy options. Switch it up with low-fat yogurt, fruit, and a sprinkling of granola; oatmeal with chopped apples and cinnamon; or a burrito made with salsa, scrambled eggs, a bit of cheese, and a whole-wheat tortilla.

    For more on-the-go breakfast ideas, visit the KidsHealth Library of Health Information at http://www.thechildrenshospital.org/wellness/info/.