Mornings can be hectic in many households. It may be all you can do just to get the kids out the door with matching shoes. What about breakfast? Perhaps a few toaster pastries in the car? At 200 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and a mere 2 grams of protein per pastry, think again. Luckily, your kids may be able to eat a healthful, affordable breakfast at school. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the School Breakfast Program in more than 89,000 schools and institutions. Eating breakfast each day helps children establish and maintain healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
The benefits for breakfast eaters may include weight loss and weight maintenance, increased adherence to exercise, and decreased overall calorie intake. However, the School Breakfast Program provides additional benefits. Participants have less added sugar at breakfast than nonparticipants and more servings of fruit and milk for breakfast and the entire day. They are also more likely to achieve the recommended dietary allowances for vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, thiamine and zinc. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires the USDA to ensure that the breakfast program offers plenty of whole grains and fruit, appropriate calories, and reduced sodium.