Sending children to school without breakfast makes it difficult for them to make up lost nutrients later in the day and deprives them of energy needed for good school performance, according to Eleanor Whitney, a registered dietitian and textbook author with the Dairy Council of California.
"Children who skip breakfast perform poorly in tasks of concentration, have shortened attention spans and lower IQ test scores than those of their well-fed peers," Whitney said.
"Breakfast should provide about one-fourth of a day's nutrients," Whitney said. "Unless a child eats a hearty lunch and dinner, and snacks in between, a skipped breakfast can result in the loss of a significant amount of nutrients needed to stay healthy and active--especially if this meal is routinely skipped," she said.
"Up to about age 10, the average child needs to eat every four to six hours to maintain a blood glucose concentration high enough to support brain and nervous system activity," she added.