I see several students on a daily basis who complain of a headache or upset stomach. Most often this is due to lack of breakfast. Middle school children often skip breakfast since they do not like waking up early and are often not hungry upon rising. The statement that BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY is so true. Studies have shown that students who eat breakfast perform better in school than those who skip breakfast. Breakfast eaters show greater concentration, have more energy and score better on tests.

Encourage your child to eat a well-balance and nutritious breakfast that will provide energy all morning long. Students who consume a breakfast high in sugars will burn off quickly and leave the student feeling tired and irritable. Eating a nutritious breakfast will help your child to achieve his/her optimum performance at school.

Even when rushed, a child can pour and drink a glass of milk or juice and eat a slice of bread or some crackers. Sometimes breakfast is "avoided" because the child does not like standard breakfast fare. Remember to stress to your child the importance of the breakfast meal and suggest some variation from the routine. Many of these can be prepared quickly for an "on the go" meal. Here are some variations from the routine - remember to include fruit or fruit juice for sustained energy as well as needed vitamins:

  1. Milkshake: orange juice, powdered milk, sugar and cinnamon to taste
  2. Cereal with fruit and milk.
  3. Milkshake: milk, peanut butter, banana
  4. Toasted cheese sandwich, orange juice
  5. "Leftovers" from the night before
  6. Peanut butter and banana sandwich, milk
  7. Yogurt mixed with fruit, sprinkled with granola
  8. Cheese, fruit, whole grain crackers
  9. Mixed nuts, raisins, glass of milk
  10. Egg salad sandwich, apple juice.