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Do you think there's a link between eating breakfast and improved attention span?

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?

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Mike J. | Math Tutor in NJ okMath Tutor in NJ ok
5.0 5.0 (4 lesson ratings) (4)

Hi Jessie,

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!



breakfast really helps!

Shannon F. | Patient, Fun, and Well-Rounded TutorPatient, Fun, and Well-Rounded Tutor
4.7 4.7 (6 lesson ratings) (6)

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. 

Good luck!

Rebecca U. | Ms. Rebecca SmartMs. Rebecca Smart

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.

Sarah E. | Economics, Sociology, Writing, World History, and more. PCSB TeacherEconomics, Sociology, Writing, World His...
Hi Jessie,
Here is where I'm going to sound odd:
Breakfast doesn't necessarily matter.
(Cue gasping of the audience, and the sound of cereal bowls clattering on the floor.)
By the by, a majority of the initial studies that looked at benefits of breakfast (for children, specifically) were funded by cereal companies.  Take that as you will.
Back to my first statement!
Are you hungry in the morning before school?  I never was in high school--and in fact, only felt hunger shortly before the designated lunch hour.  (Which was really early?  Something like 10am, I would get up around 6:30 for school.)  To contrast, I had a friend who would feel sick if they missed breakfast because they woke up late--and often had a snack in the hallway between our first classes.
In their case, they were unable to focus if they didn't eat before they came to school.  I had no problem.
Now, I have to eat within an hour after waking up...but even then, I don't have to eat a lot.  I typically have two eggs and a piece of toast.  Sometimes, I have fresh fruit and a slice of turkey.  It isn't until mid-day that I get really hungry, that much hasn't changed!
You still need to eat to function.  The thing is, your body will tell you when you're hungry.  You'll notice you get sluggish if you should have eaten, for example. 
That said, if you don't have a lunch hour until much later after you wake up, especially if you can't eat something in the halls, then I do advise you at least have the granola bar.  
(As far as nutrition goes--be careful.  Many granola bars are low in fiber and protein and high in sugars!)
If you have the time, having some fruit, eggs, toast, cottage cheese, oatmeal, etcetc in the A.M. would be better.  Food high in protein and fiber do keep you full longer than foods without!
And of course--stay hydrated!  Have water before you go to school, while you're there, and when you get back.  Dehydration impedes your body's ability to function, and no amount of breakfast foods can help that!
(I am not a certified nutritionist--yet?--but I have had to get into all this because I took up weightlifting/bodybuilding...which is as much about nutrition as fitness.)
Jan V. | Teacher LibrarianTeacher Librarian
5.0 5.0 (9 lesson ratings) (9)

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!

Caitlin B. | Licensed English Teacher with Experience in Multiple SubjectsLicensed English Teacher with Experience...
4.7 4.7 (108 lesson ratings) (108)

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.