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The Effects of Eating Breakfast on High School Students

by Nancy Clarke

Breakfast helps high school students excel in both social and academic realms, so make sure your kids don't skip their morning meals. Weight loss and early schedules are no excuses for missing a quick, satisfying breakfast. Plain, old cereal and milk are considered superior sources for the protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that adolescents need every day. Eating a varied diet that includes fruit and other sources of vitamin C can also improve school attendance.

Better Social Skills

High school-age children thrive on social interaction, but the importance of this aspect of school is often overlooked in relation to enabling learning. Kids are best able to get along with each other and follow classroom protocols in the morning when they aren't hungry. A simple cereal-and-milk breakfast affects students' moods by raising their blood-sugar levels after a night of not eating. The Food Research and Action Center notes that teenagers who don't eat breakfast are more likely to have conflicts with other students and to be suspended from school.

Better Test Scores

Adequate blood sugar as well as breakfast's beneficial effects on neurotransmitters can improve teens' focus and recall. This translates into better scores on certain exams, such as math and reading. Moms can make a positive impact on their teenagers' academic performance by offering healthy protein and fiber sources such as eggs, cereal, yogurt and whole-grain breads at breakfast time.

Better Attendance

Kids have to stay in school to progress in life, and eating a healthy breakfast can help. A morning meal gets them out of bed and gives them the energy to get out the door. Add fruit to breakfasts daily for boosts of vitamin C that bolster teens' immune systems and result in shorter bouts of colds and flus. Raisin breads, fresh fruit cereal toppings and to-go packaged fruit cups are convenient sources of vitamin C. Fortified orange juice offers calcium and vitamin D in addition to more than a full day's supply of vitamin C.

Better Overall Health

Encouraging your teens to form a breakfast routine that emphasizes whole grains, low-fat dairy products and fruits can optimize their general and long-term health. These foods help adolescents get the protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals that their growing bodies and minds need. Perhaps the best thing that moms can do for their kids is to join them in eating nutritious breakfasts.. A 2005 study published in "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" reported that adolescents whose parents ate breakfast were more likely to do so themselves.

About the Author

Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.

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