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Close-Up Of Food In Cafeteria, School Breakfast

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — School breakfast is vital for young minds heading to the classroom each morning. According to the School Nutrition Association, children who eat breakfast are more likely to perform better in reading and math, concentrate better and be more alert.

National School Breakfast Week

Mornings can be busy for everyone, especially families with children. That’s why school breakfast can be a good option for those working through the morning whirlwind. National School Breakfast Week is March 6 through March 10, and the theme is “Dig into School Breakfast.” The special week celebrates the importance of a nutritious breakfast in fueling students for success.

According to the Nutrition Association, the School Breakfast Program–funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)–provides more than 12 million breakfasts each day to children throughout the country. In some cases, these breakfasts tend to be more nutritious than the average breakfast a child gets from home or a fast-food restaurant.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Auburn University’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) encourages parents to make use of school breakfast. One of SNAP-Ed’s primary audiences is schools, with more than 50% of students receiving free or reduced-price meals through the national school lunch and breakfast programs.

“For children, eating breakfast can help with focus, mood and behavior in the classroom,” said Katie Funderburk, Alabama Extension SNAP-Ed coordinator. “The School Breakfast Program offers a variety of foods that adhere to national nutrition standards set by the USDA. Thanks to the program, children are granted access to a protein and fiber rich breakfast to keep hunger in check until lunchtime.”

Weekends At Home

What about when children are at home during the weekend and holidays? Just because it is Saturday or Sunday, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a time crunch. However, a healthy breakfast can be achieved no matter the time. If there’s plenty of time, a vegetable and cheese omelet or a fruit and yogurt parfait is an excellent start to the day. If there is a time crunch, a toasted whole-grain English muffin with peanut butter and sliced banana is a quick and nutritious option.

When there’s not much time for anything other than waking up and brushing teeth, consider making something the night before and warming it up. The Live Well Alabama recipe for Rise and Shine Muffins could provide breakfast for multiple days. The recipe calls for combining six eggs, spinach, meat, tomatoes and cheese. The results are several protein- and vegetable-loaded muffins that can be refrigerated for a quick morning meal. Check out more Live Well Alabama nutritious recipes for the morning below.

For more nutritious recipes and tips on healthy eating, visit LiveWellAlabama.com or follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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