We’ve all heard the adage: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I’m here to tell you, it’s not just another catchy bumper sticker. Just as your car can’t run without gas in the tank, your body can’t function properly without food.
Think about it. Generally speaking, if the last thing you ate was dinner the night before and you get your full 8 hours of sleep, that’s 8 whole hours your body has gone without being refueled. Not a big deal when you’re sleeping, because your body processes function much slower and don’t burn as much energy, but when you wake up and become more active…well, that’s a different story.
Imagine hopping in your car to drive to work. You left a little late, so you’re in a hurry and step on the accelerator only to find your poor, empty car just sputtering along the road at a snail’s pace. The same thing happens when you don’t refuel your body. You wake up in the morning and rush around to get ready for the day, but if you forget to put good, nutritious foods into your “tank” you’re going nowhere.
How it Works
In laymen’s terms, your body takes the foods you eat and breaks them down chemically into glucose, which is the body’s basic “fuel”. Glucose is then released into the blood stream and gives your body the energy it needs to function properly. Your brain also needs glucose in order to function. Without glucose, your thoughts may seem hazy or disorganized. You tend to not remember things very well and you have difficulty processing new information.
Numerous studies done over the years have shown that children who were fed a nutritionally balanced breakfast performed much better in school than their counterparts who had skipped breakfast.
See, breakfast IS indeed brain fuel!
One thing we would like to point out here is that not all breakfast foods are created equal. Sugary cereals and juices will give your child a lot of energy all at once, but just as all good things must come to an end…so does your child’s energy level. At some point not long after your child’s school day has begun, they will experience a sort of sugar crash. Energy levels will be extremely low and your child may feel lethargic. That is the body’s way of saying “Hey, you! It’s time for some more fuel in here!”
Since children aren’t usually permitted to graze at will during their school day, it is vitally important to load them up with lots of complex carbohydrates before they leave home. These take longer for your body to absorb which allows for a slower, more gradual and consistent rise in blood sugar levels. Foods such as whole grain toast with peanut butter or an omelet packed with veggies and a side of fresh fruit are great options that will help keep your child satisfied until lunch time.
If you’re not sure what types of breakfast foods would be ideal, check out Pinterest. There are a slew of boards dedicated to this specific topic that provide lots of wonderful recipes that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. We would love to hear what foods you prepare for your children before school! Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below.