This week's guest blogger is Wendy Palmer, MS, RD, LD, CHES
Program Manager, Child Wellness
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
As the mom of two little boys, I’m painfully familiar with the mad morning dash to get the kids up, get all of us dressed, throw breakfast together and get out the door. But I’ve found a way to make mornings saner, more fun and healthier: let them eat breakfast at school.
We all grew up hearing our mom’s tell us “eat your breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day.” As kids we never wanted to admit mom might be right, but as mom’s ourselves now, it’s a little easier to admit, isn’t it? As a Registered Dietitian for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, I know how important breakfast really is for our kids. It breaks their overnight fast with the fuel they need for a productive day.
Georgia’s school districts have been working hard to not only meet the new improved Federal guidelines but also increase the quality and variety of food they are now serving. Yet over the years school meals have gotten a bad rap. This is not the school breakfast we remember!
So let me give you some facts regarding breakfast. When kids skip breakfast, they often end up going for hours without food, which can make them inattentive and ill-behaved (which no mom or teacher wants). We also know that breakfast-skippers also tend to weigh more and are more likely to be absent from school more often. By contrast, however, kids who regularly eat well-balanced breakfasts generate higher scores on standardized tests and show improvements in math, reading and vocabulary. (Good information to have as you help your kids study for the upcoming CRCTs!)
In celebration of “School Breakfast Week,” I encourage you to give your school’s cafeteria a second look when it comes to breakfast. Who knows, your kids may not only like it, you may end up enjoying having the good folks from the school cafeteria make breakfast AND do the dishes!
Strong4Life is a movement created by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to address the childhood obesity medical crisis that is threatening nearly one million kids in Georgia. For information about Strong4Life visit our website,Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Strong4Life Blog.