NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Better Breakfasts = Better Students

Better Breakfasts = Better Students


                We admit it: There are multiple mornings where it's everything we can do to will ourselves out of bed and grab a fistful of cereal or a crappy granola bar on our way out the door. A multi-food, sit down breakfast isn’t a realistic everyday goal but that doesn't mean we should settle for a sugar rush that will leave us sad and hungry just a half hour later.

                Why is it important to have a good breakfast?  Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes your supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

                In general, kids and teens who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless, and tired.

Other research shows that students who eat breakfast have improved academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning.

                Eating breakfast can improve cognitive performance, test scores and achievement scores in students, especially in younger children. According to a study published in the journal “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine," students who increased their participation in school breakfast programs had significantly higher math scores than students who skipped or rarely ate breakfast. As an added benefit, the group of students who increased breakfast participation also had decreased rates of tardiness and absences.

                Eating breakfast regularly may also help students maintain a healthy weight. According to a study published in “Public Health Nutrition," children who skipped breakfast in the morning were more likely to overeat and have a lower overall diet quality than children who ate breakfast every day. This led to increased body mass index, or BMI, measurements.

                Apart from providing us with energy, breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fiber. The body needs these essential nutrients and research shows that if these are missed at breakfast, they are less likely to be compensated for later in the day. A healthy breakfast should consist of a variety of foods, for example, low-fat or fat free milk, whole grains, lean meats or meat alternates, and fruits and vegetables.  Try the following each ham and cheese rollups to start your day.


Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

4 large eggs

1/4 c. milk

2 tbsp. chopped chives (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp. butter

1 c. shredded cheddar, divided

4 slices ham

                In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and chives. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Pour half of the egg mixture into the skillet, moving to create a thin layer that covers the entire pan.  Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cheddar and cover for 2 minutes more, until the cheese is melty. Remove onto plate, place 2 slices of ham, and roll tightly. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.

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