The importance of breakfast 
         We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
 
         Adelle Davis, author of Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit, extolled the virtues that I
remember ever since I read her book in the seventies: “Eat breakfast like a king,
lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

         We teachers see the result of children’s breakfast eating habits -
especially when they do not have a decent breakfast at home: headaches,
tummyaches, and lack of ability to concentrate are chief among them.

         What if your child doesn’t take to the traditional breakfast fare? We have
hit upon an unusual solution at our house: Elizabeth’s favorite breakfast is plain
pasta (any shape, no sauce) in a little margarine with parmesan cheese on top.
We always have leftover pasta in containers in the refrigerator, so it is a simple
matter to take out a little bit, warm it up, and offer her a complex carbohydrate
that she will not only eat, but will keep her going until lunch.

         If your child resists the typical assortment of cereals, toast, bagels, bread,
waffles, and pancakes, perhaps you can explore this area together and come
up with a solution that is easy for you to prepare that will also be something to
get into that empty stomach to keep her nourished during the morning hours. 

         Sugar is known for providing a quick burst of energy to most people. This is
a phenomenon that does not last for a long time. The simple carbohydrates in
sugar are easily expended, resulting in a fairly short-lived burst. Then the body
gets tired and is focused only on wanting to get something else to eat. This
creates chaos when the child is supposed to be paying attention to what his
teacher is saying or contributing to a group or partner activity.

         Your child probably has some sort of a recess break every morning. You
can reinforce the need for that important morning food by providing a snack
that can be easily transported to school and eaten during this time.

         This column has been incorporated into Teach Your Children Well: A Teacher’s Advice for Parents

 
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