As quarter four approaches, students and teachers are reviewing and preparing for state testing, one of the most crucial events of the school year. To be fully ready for the hard work and possible difficulties ahead, it is imperative that students are alert and prepared for the months ahead. Among the most important factors in achieving these qualities is a fulfilling breakfast every morning.
“Breakfast is literally breaking the overnight fast,” nutrition services staff member Paula McCarthy said. “It’s important to re-fuel the body with nutrients and energy for the day ahead. Students who eat breakfast show improved attendance, behavior and academic performance, as well as decreased tardiness.”
With the use of breakfast, students can study and work at the best of their ability for the entire day. Of course, with such an early schedule, many students tend to skip the morning meal.
“Skipping breakfast has caused me to get headaches in morning workouts and has also caused me to not be able to fully concentrate on school assignments,” sophomore and student athlete Kiley McKernan said.
Whether a student has managed their time wisely and is going through their regular morning routine, or they are in a rush to make it to school on time after sleeping in, it is important that they satisfy their bodies with the proper nutrients to continue the day.
“A healthy breakfast keeps the blood sugar levels steady, which helps improve focus and attention span,” McCarthy said. “Skipping breakfast shows increased errors and slower memory recall.”
Not only does this meal heavily contribute to mental productivity, but it also enhances physical performance, as well, which should be taken into consideration especially by student athletes.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you energy and helps you start off right,” freshman and student athlete Charlie Ricketts said. “It also contributes to my performance because I have to eat calories so I can be ready for a game or practice.”
For those who decide to skip breakfast, the outcome is rarely pleasant. Many have experienced minor headaches to extreme migraines, as well as a slower metabolism over time.
“When I have skipped breakfast, it has caused me to feel bad and not energized throughout the day,” Ricketts said.
Students who are in a time crunch will often settle for a small snack, or most times, just a cup of coffee. Although it seems like the fastest and easiest option, it is not always the most beneficial for your health.
“Whole grains, fiber and protein help fuel the brain,” McCarthy said. “I would suggest french toast, waffles, pancakes, cold cereal with milk, yogurt and nuts. I would stay away from sugary food and refined grains.”
With these flavorful foods, students can have a delicious breakfast while simultaneously preparing themselves for a productive day.
“Students’ brains use half of the body’s energy,” McCarthy said. “If you are not giving the body what it needs in terms of nutrients to fuel the body and brain, it will be harder to function throughout your day.”