CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With kids heading back to school one of the most important parts of their day will start before they even head to class.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day especially for children," said MUSC Dietician Debbie Petitpain.
Petitpain says test scores have proven that students who eat a healthy breakfast score better.
"Not only does the food give them energy for recess but its also the primary fuel for their brain," Petitpain said.
According to Petitpain, a healthy balanced breakfast also makes you feel full longer.
"So instead of sugary cereals go for a plain cheerio,shredded wheat or raisin cereal," Petitpain said.
Also, good complex carbohydrates like whole grain waffles or toast can be an option. Protein is important as well and foods like peanut butter,eggs and even deli meat can pack a punch.
When it comes to your child's lunch Petitpain says the same rule applies. Keep your child's lunch full of complex carbs and protein.
Whole wheat bread, crackers or pitas are good options along with a protein like light cheese sticks, yogurt and peanut butter.
"These are the two ingredients in your meal that are going to release their fuel sources slowly into the body leaving a sustained feeling of fullness," Petitpain said.
Petitpain says keep in mind food with a lot of sugar can cause your student to have a burst of energy and become sluggish fast.
Keeping your child hydrated is also important. Petitpain says 100 percent fruit juice, low fat milk, or water are great choices.
Your best bet for ensuring your child will eat their school lunch according to Petitpain is to involve them in the process of making their lunch.