According to scientists, good nutrition improves mental and behavioral performance and eating well everyday is good insurance for parents that children arrive to school ready to learn.
Mary Pat Alfaro, MS, RD, LD, education coordinator in Nutrition Therapy at Cincinnati Children's, explains multiple studies have shown that poor nutrition adversely effects school performance and overall achievement.
Improving health and nutrition in undernourished children is correlated with less absenteeism, more grades completed and better performance on tests, the researcher said.
The research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2005 compiled the results of many studies about the benefits of breakfast.
Evidence from the report suggests that eating breakfast may improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance. Breakfast in combination with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle can make a positive difference in a child's health and well-being.
Parents should provide breakfast for their children or enroll them in the school breakfast program if eligible and available.
"So as we can see from this article, the evidence for providing healthy foods for children can contribute to a better school year academically, physically and socially," says Alfaro.
Alfaro says a healthy breakfast consists of a variety of foods, especially high-fiber and nutrient-rich whole grains, fruits, and dairy products. Such breakfast examples include - fiber rich and whole-grain cereals with low fat milk, yogurt and berries, toast, eggs and 100 percent fruit juice and whole-wheat bagels and cream cheese with low fat milk.
In addition to making sure their child eats a healthy breakfast, Alfaro says parents need to also think about the types of food their child eats during lunch.