Back to school means back to breakfast

Released: 08/30/16

Back to school means back to breakfast

Before hopping on the bus for school, it is imperative that youngsters are fueled with nutrient-rich foods to kick-start their day. Providers at Winneshiek Medical Center urge parents to enforce a routine each morning that includes sitting down to eat breakfast.

“We understand mornings can be quite busy for families, but it’s important to make sure children are eating healthy breakfast every morning,” says Robert Flinchbaugh, DO, Mayo Clinic Health System family medicine provider and chief medical officer at Winneshiek Medical Center. “During the school year, a balanced breakfast is key to giving your child a better chance at excelling physically and academically.”

Dr. Flinchbaugh explains that there are plenty of health benefits that come along with enjoying a healthy breakfast every morning. By fueling your body within two hours of waking up, you’re setting up your body to be successful throughout the course of your day.

Here are other major health benefits that come along with eating a healthy breakfast.

  • Weight and health. According to a 2003 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, those who skip the most important meal of the day are 4.5 times more likely to obese compared to regular breakfast-eaters.
  • Keep focused. Breakfast-eaters are more likely to stay focused throughout the day and foods that have a lot of fiber, protein, and whole grains are especially helpful when it comes to boosting cognitive abilities.
  • Healthy breakfast, healthy diet. People who eat a healthy breakfast in the morning are more likely to stay on track with healthy choices throughout the day.

Clearly, breakfast is not a meal that ought to be skipped. However, if you find yourself struggling to make time for breakfast in the morning, here are a few tips that could save your morning and your nutrition goals.

  • Keep your kitchen stocked. If you have healthy, nutritious foods in your refrigerator and pantry, you’re halfway there!
  • Wash, peel, and chop. Fruits and veggies that need to be cleaned and cut up before consumption can be prepared the night before.
  • Rise and shine. Se the alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you normally would, this head-start will help you find time to eat.
  • Get a head start. Save time in the morning by making batches of single-serve breakfast items to last throughout the week. You can make ahead and freeze egg sandwiches and whole grain muffins. Also, you could bake oatmeal in a muffin tray or mix oats with fruit and yogurt for a parfait.
  • Have a plan B. Let’s face it…there will be times when there is simply no time to sit down for breakfast. When this does happen, make sure you are prepared by having some quick, easy items that your kids can take with them for the car or bus ride to school. Items like Smoothies, trail mix, granola bars, and fruit are all good options for on the go.

If you have concerns about your child’s health, be sure to contact your local Mayo Clinic Health System provider for routine physicals and to discuss options for healthier lifestyles. To make an appointment, call 563-382-2911 or visit us online at

Rated a top 20 critical access hospital in the U.S. and the second largest critical access hospital in Iowa, Winneshiek Medical Center is a charitable nonprofit community hospital and clinic serving northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota since 1914. WMC is a lifelong community partner improving the health and well-being of those it serves through patient-centered collaboration. Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities that serve the health care needs of people in 70 communities in Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.

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