Breakfast Really Matters

Margy Family1By: Mike Margy 6th grade teacher at Mission Hills Christian School

It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually 10 years ago when my wife and I made an important discovery that would change our family’s morning routine. At about that time, we realized that our oldest son, then in second grade, was unable to control his seemingly limitless energy in order stay focused in class. We decided to try changing what he ate for breakfast to see if it would make a difference. We thought it would make sense to eliminate as much sugar as possible and instead offer our son plenty of protein. Of course, cereal (which typically contains a fair amount of sugar) had always been an easy, go-to breakfast, so this required a whole new morning routine for us.

My wife Stacey began waking up about 20 minutes earlier every day to make both our sons a high protein, low-sugar breakfast--eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast burritos. No more high-sugar breakfasts. The loss of sleep was sometimes difficult, but Stacey stayed the course, and the results were immediate. Justice was better able to focus, stay in his seat, and get his classwork done every day. Now, after 10 years, Stacey is still going strong, cooking that high-protein breakfast for both boys every single day of the school year.

From a personal and professional standpoint, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for children to get good “brain food” every morning. During my 14 years in the classroom, I’ve seen innumerable students come to school with doughnuts and chocolate milk as their breakfast, and I know how it impacts their ability to do their best work.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a doughnut as much as the next teacher, especially when one of my students brings me a tasty chocolate one. But that’s the exception, not the norm. Of course, our boys still sometimes eat cereal and waffles on weekends and during the summer. But the high-protein breakfast habit has made such a difference, we are not going back to our old sugary breakfasts during the school year.

Changing your breakfast routine may be a struggle at first, especially if your young one is conditioned for that sugary breakfast – or if you’re conditioned for that extra 20 minutes of sleep. But the results are unquestionable. The Margy family is living proof.

MHCS TogetherWendy Rueter