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Wake Up to Breakfast

Did you know students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory?

Hot Springs, Ark. – Did you know students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory?  Research has established a positive relationship between a child’s health and learning, and the benefits of proper nutrition are an essential component to learning.  Research also indicates the quality of food children and youth eat can impact their cognition and is important to their overall growth and development with inadequate nutrition having negative effects on brain functions.

March 7-11, 2016 is National School Breakfast Week.  School breakfast is an easy and cost-effective way to improve student wellness and promote health behaviors that can enable students to perform better in school.  Studies have shown that students who participate in school breakfast have:

  • Less tardiness and absenteeism
  • Improved math and standardized test scores
  • Fewer visits to the school nurse
  • Fewer behavior problems
  • Fewer psychosocial problems such as depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Over the years, there has been an increase in poor nutrition, inactivity and unhealthy weight among our children and youth. This not only can affect their academic achievement, but can also lead to the early onset of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. (The Wellness Impact Report, 2013)  Despite the push for better health, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of students who eat breakfast.  Breakfast consumption among children has decreased by 9 percent and among youth by 20 percent.  In addition to impacting academic performance, skipping breakfast can generate tiredness, restlessness, and irritability, and can also increase body fat due to over-eating later in the day.  Breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism so the body will start burning calories, but the quality of breakfast foods plays a crucial role.  Choose breakfast foods that are high in whole grains, fiber and protein.  Try to stay away from those that are high in sugar.  Eating a breakfast high in protein can decrease hunger and increase fullness for 4 hours compared to a carbohydrate-based breakfast that is low in protein.  Here are a few suggestions for high-quality protein breakfasts:

  • Eggs – Make breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches with scrambled eggs and low-fat cheese.  These are great for breakfast on the go.
  • Dairy – Add yogurt to fruit smoothies or cereal.  Greek yogurt can add 10-15 grams of protein.
  • Breakfast meats – Lean breakfast meats such as turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or Canadian bacon are excellent choices.

 For more information on school breakfast contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, visit our website at www.uaex.edu or www.schoolnutrition.org

EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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