MACON, Ga. — Lots of kids in Central Georgia rolled out of bed Thursday morning and started getting ready for the first day of school, but before they hop on the bus, experts say they need a healthy breakfast.
When kids wake up they might be tempted to grab a sugary cereal or toaster pastry, but the United States Department of Agriculture says a healthier breakfast will lead to success in the classroom.
"School mornings we wake up around 6 a.m.," said mom of three, Mary Burns.
Every morning, Burns cooks her growing kids a good breakfast.
"Most of the time I try to do healthy, you know something healthy for them," Burns said.
On the menu this morning?
"Pancakes with bananas, they like pancakes with bananas," Burns said.
She says staying healthy can be a little tricky sometimes.
We asked one of her kids what their favorite meal is, to which Jesse Maine said, "Sausage!"
At the Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, pediatrician Dr. Katherine Duncan says breakfast is the most important meal.
"We know that kids that have a healthy breakfast do better in school, they end up with lower BMI (body mass index), more energy, they are better able to concentrate in school -- especially for those elementary school kids," Duncan said.
She says a breakfast with fruits and fiber will make sure your child stays full until lunch.
"It can be meat, eggs, yogurt, even peanut butter, you can add fiber with one of your favorite fruits, and even some whole wheat bread," Duncan said.
For kids, the main serving of breakfast should be the size of their palm.
"For adults and teens, you can say maybe 300 calories for breakfast," Duncan said.
After breakfast, she recommends kids snack on fruits and vegetables until the last school bell rings.
For Burns, she is keeping her meals healthy and looking forward to the school year starting again.
"I will miss them. We had a good summer, but now it is go time, it is time to go learn," Burns said.
The USDA says if you start your kids eating healthy at a younger age, it might lead them to eat healthier as they get older.