At a very early age, I learned about the value of healthy eating. By the time I was 11 years old and training daily as a gymnast, I knew that eating right would help me achieve my goals. The goals I had for health, athletics, and academic performance were all tied to eating nutritious foods, and that started with breakfast. As an adult, I’ve maintained goals for fitness and health and that’s why I make sure to start each morning with a healthy breakfast.
As a young athlete it was critical to give my body the nutrients it needed to compete at a high level in the gym and in school. I learned about healthy eating by going grocery shopping with my parents and then helping to prepare meals with my family. I was also influenced by the food around me at school. Now with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s expanded School Breakfast Program beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, our nation’s youth will now have more options for starting their day off right.
The new School Breakfast Program is based on the requirements from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and officially goes into effect in schools around the country this Fall. Schools will now serve breakfast based on calorie ranges that are appropriate for the student’s age, offer a selection of milk that is low-fat or fat free, and serve more whole grain rich foods.
Students who eat breakfast are not only more prepared for their day, but they are also more prepared for the classroom. A healthy breakfast can help children stay focused and alert throughout the school day. Studies also show that children who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight because they get more of the important nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
Make the healthy choice the easy choice! Help your kids kick start their day and with a nutritious meal and create healthy habits that can last a lifetime!
Learn more about the School Breakfast Program at www.usda.gov/healthierschoolday.
Watch messages from Dominique Dawes and Allyson Felix, Olympic gold medalist, record-setting track and field sprinter and fellow member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, as they explain the benefits of a nutritious breakfast for kids to energize their days.