Can eating breakfast make kids smarter?
If given the choice between getting more sleep or eating breakfast, most kids would no doubt choose the former. But doing so could hurt how they perform at school. A study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that children who eat breakfast daily had higher scores on verbal, full scale and performance IQ tests than those who passed on a morning meal.
By age six, children's cognitive abilities are rapidly growing on both the verbal and performance levels. A good diet can help provide necessary nutrition to a child after a night of fasting, allowing for the brain to be "fuelled" for the day, according to the research.
This is also an age when children begin to shape lifelong habits, including eating breakfast. The authors of the study noted that schools should play a role in stressing the importance of breakfast to both children and parents. .
The lead researcher noted that bad breakfast habits have also been linked to other unhealthy behaviors, including alcohol abuse, smoking and infrequent exercise.