Effects of Good Nutrition on Middle School Students:  Food for thought!!
    Please help your child recognize the importance of breakfast. I see many students by 9:00am with complaints of headaches. The headache is a symptom, not the problem, if they have skipped breakfast.  Studies show that students who have had breakfast perform better on exams, can remain focused on classwork, and actually have less behavioral problems. Please make this an important part of their day.

    Be aware that some students who skip breakfast because they are "not hungry" may also not eat lunch. These are unhealthy eating habits during these nutritionally formative years which are very important for growth and development and as mentioned above.

    Studies have shown that the amount of calcium consumed until 20 years of age has a major impact on bone strength throughout the adult years. The substitution of soda or coffee as a main beverage is also detrimental to bone growth. Did you know that 2 liters of soda contain approximately 2 cups of sugar? When would we ever serve a bowl of sugar to our children?  Caffeine has been linked to osteoporosis, a disease that causes weak or brittle bones. Caffeine causes the excretion of calcium(in the urine). While not considered a cause of osteoporosis, coffee does in this way contribute to the disease. For more see: http://health.msn.com/womens-health/coffee-and-caffeine

    School Lunch:  Even though our school lunch includes fruit, salad, juice, milk and an entrée –the majority of students are choosing just the entrée. (And then paying extra for a PowerAde and/or snacks).

    Fact: Studies show that kids will eat about 70% of what is on their plates. This includes fruits and vegetable, but they have be there in order to be consumed!nutrition

    What can parents do?

    **Include a fruit and/or vegetable in packed lunches.

    **Have a conversation with your child about meal choices.
    **When setting up/accessing an account consider adding an alert, such as “Please see that my child only buys the full school lunch” or “Allow no extra snack purchases” or “May purchase only one extra snack.” Always remember to include any food allergies or dietary restrictions on the alerts.
    **Empower your child to make healthy food choices through modeling at home, conversation, and education.