Granola with yogurt

School days usher in that familiar school daze. 

Reduce anxiety and improve performance with a quality breakfast that includes protein and whole-grain carbohydrates, advises registered dietitian Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. 

A bowl of oatmeal with milk “can give you some energy to the brain,” she says. “That milk begins to work on brain chemicals.” 

Another healthful option is a fruit and yogurt parfait

“Some sugar from the fruit [offers] that quick burst of energy,” Diekman notes, while the protein from the yogurt “can help the body with relaxation and attention.” 

The darker the fruit, the better, she says. Blueberries, strawberries, apricots, blackberries and raspberries contain phytonutrients that help promote relaxation during stressful times. 

“It is so important that we equip kids—and Mom and Dad, too—with something to eat before they enter the classroom or job because the studies are very, very clear,” Diekman says. “Performance in a classroom is so much better in breakfast eaters than in those who skip.” 

Photo: Burger Baroness

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