At some point during your life, someone probably said to you, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In fact, you may be repeating the adage in that singsong voice we often use to mimic what we frequently heard from adults as we were growing up. Admit it; we didn’t want to hear it. However, as I grow older, and I hope wiser, I’ve come to appreciate that most of the advice I received was very good indeed. Therefore, I am passing it along. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

March is significant for many reasons. In addition to the wish for the warmer weather that comes with spring – it’s been cold on the shores of Lake Erie – March is the month we celebrate National School Breakfast Week and National Nutrition Month. While National School Breakfast Week has come and gone, we still have a few weeks left to focus on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. That’s the National Nutrition Month part. Actually, it might not be a bad idea to nurture those habits beyond March.

So how does this tie to Fuel Up to Play 60? Well, Fuel Up to Play 60 is all about developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Research shows that improved nutrition, including breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. Eating breakfast at school can help kids be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores. [i] After all, healthy students are better students. The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments highlights the connection between nutrition, physical activity and academic performance.

Fuel Up to Play 60, with support from partners like Share Our Strength and Dean Foods, wants to make sure all kids fuel up with a healthy breakfast. Whether it be the traditional cafeteria breakfast, breakfast in the classroom or the grab-and-go variety, this meal can help provide ALL students with the nutrition they need to succeed in the classroom.

We’ve established that breakfast is crucial. Unfortunately, millions of kids aren’t eating this important meal. One study shows that more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day. [ii] This may be due to the desire to sleep longer, hectic mornings or lack of food at home.  Forget the reasons. Focus on the problem. Kids are showing up to school hungry. They are not ready to learn.

Serving school breakfast is one of the easiest ways to improve student wellness. It’s also one of the most economical. So join with students and adults across the county in support of breakfast, and make this meal part of the educational day at your school. After all, it starts with school breakfast!

Serving breakfast is one easiest steps schools can take to improve student wellness. Breakfast not only improves the quality of children’s diets. Breakfast can also help improve the quality of children’s diets. The quality of food children eat has been shown to relate closely to overall growth and development

 

i American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Through Healthy School Environment, March 2013.

ii Eaton DK, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States 2011, Surveillance Summary No. 61(SS04);1-162. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6104a1.htm.

[i] American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Through Healthy School Environment, March 2013.

[ii] Eaton DK, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States 2011, Surveillance Summary No. 61(SS04);1-162. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6104a1.htm.