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•What does breakfast mean?

Students should understand that breakfast is a compound word, meaning it is two words together to make one word. It consists of the words ‘break’ and ‘fast.’ Each word has several definitions. If time allows, have the students use dictionaries to find the definition of each word. Discuss the various definitions and determine which ones apply. The following definitions should be used:

Break = to separate or divide

Fast = to abstain from food; to not eat for a certain amount of time

Emphasize the importance of breakfast. As we sleep, you are fasting, but your body is still using the energy inside of it. Energy is the power or ability to be active. We give our bodies energy through food. Breakfast replenishes the energy that your body has been using up all night. During sleep, your body uses energy from the day before. When you wake up, your body is low on energy. In order to have enough energy until lunch, your body needs breakfast.

Use this analogy to emphasize the concept above: Let’s say that someone left a car with a full tank of gas in the garage overnight. However, they left the engine on, so the engine is using up all the gas the whole night, even though it is not moving. In the morning, the tank of gas will be almost empty. The car will then not be able to go very far without refueling.

Your body is like the car. Even though you are not moving while you sleep, your engine (your heart, lungs, brain and other organs) are still working and doing their jobs throughout the night. You need to refuel your body and “fill your energy tank” by eating food when you wake up.

•What are the consequences of skipping breakfast?

•You do not have enough energy, you feel tired and you fall asleep when you should be awake.

•You feel cranky, grumpy or irritable.

•Your stomach grumbles or aches.

•You feel nauseous, dizzy or faint.

•You have a hard time concentrating.

Why might some people skip breakfast?

  1. They are in a rush to get to school or the bus stop or maybe they woke up late.
  2. They do not feel hungry right after they wake up.
  3. They do not have “breakfast” foods at home or do not like breakfast food.
  4. They do not have much food at home.

What are ways to overcome the barriers to eating breakfast listed above?

  1. Many people skip breakfast due to lack of time. These students should focus on using better time management to overcome this barrier. They can:

•Set your alarm clock 15 minutes early to avoid being rushed and to give yourself ample time to eat before leaving home.

•Keep a box of granola bars (or another breakfast bar) in your locker, desk or with the teacher in case you do not have time to eat before leaving home.

•Have your lunch packed, clothes picked out and homework done before going to bed. This will save time in the morning and allow for more time to eat breakfast.

  1. Some people do not like to eat right away when they wake up. Students can get ready for school before eating to give themselves a little time to feel hungry. They can also take breakfast with them to school, like mentioned above.
  2. Many people do not like typical breakfast foods such as cereal, toast, oatmeal or eggs. Breakfast does not have to be typical breakfast foods. Kids can eat leftovers from dinner, fruits, or any other food that is nutritious. Breakfast is about getting energy, not about eating any one particular food.
  3. Students should be made aware of any breakfast programs that their school may offer. Students may also want to eat part of their lunch for breakfast if they have packed a lunch.

What is a healthy breakfast?

A healthy breakfast is one that has many nutrients. Whatever students choose to eat for breakfast, whether it is a typical breakfast food or not, should be:

•Low in sugar

•High in vitamins

It is also good to aim for:

•High fiber

•High protein

A very healthy breakfast will include:

•100% fruit juice


•A serving of fruit

Learning Activity: Breakfast Habits

Use the following worksheet to get students looking at their own breakfast habits.

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