Back To School Fitness Requires Good Nutrition


Like it or not, the end of summer is coming and it will soon be time to head back to school. As a classroom teacher, I see many students not starting the school year as well as they could which can have social and academic consequences later in the year. A good start in the classroom starts at the breakfast table. Here are my recommendations so students will perform their best each school day!

Choose Complex Carbohydrates (Carbs)

Carbohydrates are the main food source of fuel for the body and the brain. Inadequate carbohydrate intake may decrease mental acuity, memory and the ability to think logically and can lead to feelings of overall lethargy and fatigue. Complex carbs, like whole-grain foods, retain their nutrients including the vitamins needed for energy metabolism. Fiber helps ‘fill you up’ and decreases the risk of hunger cravings during the middle of your school day because it digests more slowly.

To understand this concept, think about building a fire. You could use lots of paper and magazines to get the flames very high and large quickly; however, this fire won’t burn for very long before becoming ashes. Fueling your fire with newspapers and magazines is essentially the same as eating a breakfast high in sugar resulting in a quick sugar rush and while you feel focused and attentive at the start, by the end of the 2nd class of the day, unfocused and yawning once the lights dim, the power point goes on in History, resulting in a C grade on the report card!

Instead, fuel your fire with pieces of wood that have a much longer burn and keep burning throughout a much longer period of time. Complex carbohydrates help energize students throughout the morning periods into the afternoon keeping them focused, alert and attentive – not burnt by the time the 2nd class ends with 3 more classes before ‘refueling’ at lunch period.

Keep it simple and make eating breakfast every day routine!

Create a breakfast with staying power using protein and carbohydrate combos. Breakfast is an ideal way to energize so there will be no sleeping in class.

Here are a few winning options for the most important meal of the day – BREAKFAST!

-Whole Grain Cold Cereal (i.e., Cheerios, Total, Wheaties, Kix) with fruit

-Hot Oatmeal with a banana & berries

-Eggs or Peanut Butter on Whole Grain Toast

The above advice originally appeared

Remember, back to school fitness starts at home with good nutrition!

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