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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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Starting School Right – With a Nutritious Breakfast

By Michael McBurney

School is beginning. It may be a heart-wrenching time for both parents and children. Many will experience both anticipation and jitters throughout the morning. Don’t be surprised if excitement fades to anxiety as the school bus pulls up or your child walks toward the school door. Their eyes can widen and one can sometimes see summer tan fade. If holding hands, the grip will tighten. Parent and child will feel more emotional. It is not uncommon to be fearful of change. Reassurance helps give strength.

As a parent, be reassured by the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study results from the Centers for Disease Control. Since 2006, the percentage of school districts with nutrition standards for foods purchased outside of their school breakfast and lunch program has increased from 55 to 74%. Over half the schools now have nutrition and calorie information on the foods available to students in their schools. More than 90% of elementary schools are required to teach physical education. School boards are stepping up.

Nutrition is important for developing minds and bodies.

Whether eating breakfast at home or at school, research shows that having a healthy, well-balanced diet improves brain capacity, maximizes cognitive capabilities, and improves academic performance in school-aged children.

Main Citation

School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS). 2013. Centers for Disease Control.

Other Citations

Hermoso M, Vucic V, Volhardt C, Arsic A, Roman-Vinas B, Iglesia-Attaba I, Gurinovic M, Koletzko B. The effect of iron on cognitive development and function in infants, children and adolescents: a systematic review. 2011 Ann Nutr Metab doi:10.1159/000334490

Richardson AJ, Burton JR, Sewell RP, Spreckelsen TF, Montgomery P. Docosahexaenoic acid for reading, cognition, and behavior in children aged 7-9 years: a randomized, controlled trial (The DOLAB study). 2012 PLoS doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043909

Nguyen CT, Gracely EJ, Lee BK. Serum folate but not vitamin B12 concentrations are positively correlated with cognitive test scores in children aged 6-16 years. 2013 J Nutr doi:10.3945/​jn.112.166165

Rausch R. Nutrition and academic performance in school-age children: The relation to obesity and food insufficiency. 2013 Nutr Food doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000190


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