Just curious if it's really important to eat a big breakfast before school or if I can just grab a granola bar? Is it really going to make a difference?
Do you think there's a link between eating breakfast and improved attention span?
Big is probably not the best word. Balanced would be better. Eat something before school so you can stay focused until snack or lunch time!
It is important to eat breakfast, yes. A granola bar is without a doubt better than no breakfast at all; however, it is not entirely balanced. A balanced meal might look something like this: cereal with milk, fresh fruit, and a protein of some kind (nuts, cheese, egg, meat, etc). Or something such as toast with cream cheese and fruit, or oatmeal with nuts and fruit and milk. Building a breakfast which includes three food groups, one being a protein, is going to offer the best sustained supply of energy for starting out your day.
A lack of food/calories diminishes the ability of the brain to function at its best. The brain works off of glucose, which is only obtained through nutrition, and the brain also consumes the most caloric energy of your body. This means it is crucial to be well nourished and have a continued supply of nutrients available to your brain.
The brain and the body need protein and nourishment to work successfully. Most granola bars have sugar as the first several ingredients. A much healthier breakfast would allow you better focus, such as: eggs, protein shakes, yogurt, low-fat meats or other proteins in combination with fruits and whole grains. This would give you more focus and success in school and help your stomach and your brain to stay focused and happy until lunch.
While I am not a nutritionist, my experience both personally and with my students is that fluid, protein and something of "substance" is essential for a successful morning. I take my vitamins with a small glass of juice and, when I need a grab-n-go breakfast, choose a protein bar, banana, coffee, and water. It doesn't have to be complicated- try a few different things to see what works for you!
In addition to being beneficial to your body health and brain, eating breakfast will enable you to focus more on your schoolwork than on your rumbling stomach. If I don't eat before classes, I spend the day watching the clock and counting down the minutes until my next meal.