You probably heard it from your own parents: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But now you’re the one saying it — to your sleepy, frazzled, grumpy kids, who insist “I’m not hungry” as you try to get everyone fed and moving in the morning.

Even if you eat a healthy morning meal every day, it can be tough to get kids fueled up in time for school, childcare, or a day of play. But it’s important to try. Here’s how to make breakfast more appealing for everyone.

Why Bother With Breakfast?

Breakfast is a great way to give the body the refueling it needs. Kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities — two great ways to help maintain a healthy weight.

Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Their mood and energy can drop by midmorning if they don’t eat at least a small morning meal.

Breakfast also can help keep kids’ weight in check. Breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism, the process by which the body converts the fuel in food to energy. And when the metabolism gets moving, the body starts burning calories.

Also, people who don’t eat breakfast often consume more calories throughout the day and are more likely to be overweight. That’s because someone who skips breakfast is likely to get famished before lunchtime and snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch.

Breakfast Brain Power

It’s important for kids to have breakfast every day, but what they eat in the morning is crucial too. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids’ attention span, concentration, and memory — which they need to learn in school.

Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to get fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. They also tend to keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.

Making Breakfast Happen

It would be great to serve whole-grain waffles, fresh fruit, and low-fat milk each morning. But it can be difficult to make a healthy breakfast happen when you’re rushing to get yourself and the kids ready in the morning and juggling the general household chaos.

So try these practical suggestions to ensure that — even in a rush — your kids get a good breakfast before they’re out the door:
stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options
prepare as much as you can the night before (gets dishes and utensils ready, cut up fruit, etc.)
get everyone up 10 minutes earlier
let kids help plan and prepare breakfast
have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit; individual boxes or baggies of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal; yogurt or smoothies; trail mix) on days when there is little or no time to eat

If kids aren’t hungry first thing in the morning, be sure to pack a breakfast that they can eat a little later on the bus or between classes. Fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, or half a peanut butter and banana sandwich are nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to take along.

You also may want to check out the breakfasts available at school (or daycare). BES offers breakfasts and we provide them for free or at reduced prices for families with limited incomes. If your kids eat breakfast outside the home, talk with them about how to make healthy selections.

What not to serve for breakfast is important too. Sure, toaster pastries and some breakfast bars are portable, easy, and appealing to kids. But many have no more nutritional value than a candy bar and are high in sugar and calories. Read the nutrition labels carefully before you toss these breakfast bars and pastries into your shopping cart.

Breakfast Ideas to Try

The morning meal doesn’t have to be all about traditional breakfast items. You can mix it up to include different foods, even the leftovers from last night’s dinner, and still provide the nutrients and energy kids need for the day.

Try to serve a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbs are a good source of immediate energy for the body. Energy from protein tends to kick in after the carbs are used up. Fiber helps provide a feeling of fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. And when combined with healthy drinks, fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol.

Good sources of these nutrients include:
carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables
protein: low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans
fiber: whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts

Here are some ideas for healthy breakfasts to try:
whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk topped with fruit
whole-grain waffles topped with peanut butter or ricotta cheese and fruit
whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs
hot cereal topped with nuts or fruit sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves
half a whole-grain bagel topped with peanut butter and fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk
breakfast smoothie (low-fat milk or yogurt, fruit, and teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)
vegetable omelet with whole-wheat toast
bran muffin and berries
sliced cucumbers and hummus in a whole-wheat pita
lean turkey and tomato on a toasted English muffin
heated leftover rice with chopped apples, nuts, and cinnamon
low-fat cream cheese and fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, on whole-grain bread or half a whole-grain bagel
shredded cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla, folded in half and microwaved for 20 seconds and topped with salsa

And don’t forget how important your good example is. Let your kids see you making time to enjoy breakfast every day. Even if you just wash down some whole-wheat toast and a banana with a glass of juice or milk, you’re showing how important it is to face the day only after refueling your brain and body with a healthy morning meal.

BES BookTalk#2!

Here is the latest BES BookTalk#2 featuring Tim Rice, Phil Giunta, and Ryan McKenna

Please let us know what you think and if you would like to be a part of BES BookTalks as a guest reviewer.

Thank You!

Social Media and BES!

BES is jumping into the social media and rolling out a new Twitter account as well as using video logs (VLogs) to share what’s happening in curriculum, school and community events, professional development, and an evolving series of communications such as this first VLog of Tim Rice and Phil Giunta doing a review of books they are recommending to students and staff.

Here is the link to the first VLog, BES BookTalk#1

We look forward to feedback and if you would like to be a guest book reviewer please let me know!

Thank You!

BES & Next Generation Science Standards

Focus on Science: Next Generation Science Standards

New Standards Adopted

In November 2016 New Hampshire State board of Education officially adopted new academic standards for NH science education standards.

K-12 teachers across New Hampshire have been working towards 21st century learning experiences for our students for many years now. On November 3rd, 2016 the NH State Board of Education adopted New Academic Standards for Science. Guidance for these new Standards was provided by the Next Generation Science Standards which were developed through the input of many teachers across the US and from New Hampshire. Public forums were held around the state to learn about the direction for our new K-12 NH Science Standards and more than 600 educators from every school district in NH informed the decisive work.

The NGSS integrate high leverage content with scientific practices and cross-cutting concepts that nurture and challenge students with deepened opportunities for learning by thinking, designing and doing. This three-dimensional focus on learning science is a direct translation of the inquiry practices that science teachers at all levels have been advancing over the last decade.

What We Are Doing in Barnstead?

Here in Barnstead, we have embraced these new standards with a thoughtful and steady approach to implementation. Not surprisingly, we started with Education. This was a perfect opportunity to model the fact that learning is life long and one person’s experience and training can be shared to improve the community in practical and economic ways. In our case, this began with top training in the new standards led by Principal Rice who attended a rigorous, four day training in Baltimore MD through the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). There he learned all about the new standards, but more, he learned to “Train the Trainor”. This allowed Mr. Rice to return to Barnstead ready to teach the teachers about this new standard and how to pass it on to the classroom and community; proving everyone is a student, from Principal to our teachers, children and parents. We are all part of the team when it comes to academic advancement and modeling.

Starting in the academic year 2017- 2108 Barnstead put this training to work and began implementing the NGSS in grades 6, 7 and 8. The more hands on curriculum has been well received and has brought excitement to our science classrooms. In 2018-2019 the district introduced the standards to grades 4 and 5 with the goal of moving into the primary grades in the next few years.

Effective implementation demands a great deal of collaboration and patience and so the learning will continue as we expand the program across the grades. In fact, On January 11th our grades 4-8 science teachers (Ms. Roberts/Grade 4, Mrs. LaRoche/Grade 5, Mrs. Bourque/Grade 6, Mrs. Raymond/Grade 7, and Mr. Rayno/Grade 8) attended a training offered here in New Hampshire under the umbrella of the New Hampshire Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NH ASCD).

What are The Next Generation Science Standards?

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K–12 science content standards. Standards set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students.

Why Change Things?

A goal for developing the NGSS was to create a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards. These standards give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepare them for college, careers, and citizenship.

Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans.

A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.


The NGSS call for a three-dimensional approach to K–12 science instruction. This represents a significant transition from previous state standards. That’s why effective implementation demands a great deal of collaboration and patience among states, districts, schools, teachers, and students.

Districts like Barnstead will use thoughtful and coordinated approaches to implementation that will enable educators to inspire future generations of scientifically literate students. That is the vision of the NGSS.

If you would like to learn more about the standards here are a few resources:

Check out this video; the Importance of the Next Generation Science Standards

For samples of elementary standards:

Parent Guide for grades K-2

Parent Guide for grades 3-5