There is a big push nowadays to make sure every student has a healthy breakfast. The School Breakfast Program (SBP) was created in 1975 to make sure that all children have a nutritionally balanced breakfast free or at a low cost. The meals are considered nutritionally balanced, but according to a recent study there is now further evidence to support the idea that the carbohydrate content of breakfast may help our children perform better.
There are two ways to measure the carbohydrate content in food. The glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL). The GI measures the rate a carbohydrate is absorbed and the GL is the quantity of carbohydrate absorbed. In this study, 74 children were fed breakfast of differing carbohydrate content. It was determined, after measuring a variety of different parameters (cognitive function, mood and cortisol levels) that a breakfast low in GI and high in GL allows children to function better. Therefore, giving a large amount of carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed allows children to feel more alert, confident, happy, less nervous, sluggish, hungry and thirsty.
Such breakfasts are easy to provide; just look for foods that are high in fiber, low in simple carbohydrates, have plenty of whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. Give these a try: peanut butter on whole grain toast with a banana, muesli, or whole grain pancakes with a scrambled egg. Feed them well and start your child’s day off on the right foot.