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Classroom Success Begins with Breakfast

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(Family Features) Dairy and breakfast go hand in hand. With so many types of milk, cheeses and yogurts available, it’s easy to find breakfast combinations that set the curve for success as the kids head back to school this fall.

Children who eat a morning meal perform better in the classroom and have better overall nutrition. Research shows that kids who eat breakfast have better memory, attention and behavior, and score higher on tests.

In addition to the wide variety of dairy foods that make school day breakfasts easy, dairy also gets an A-plus for nutritional and economic value. Dairy delivers a unique package of nine essential nutrients in a variety of tasty and affordable options.

For example, one 8-ounce glass of milk delivers calcium, potassium and vitamin D and costs only about 25 cents.

Recognizing the important role breakfast and dairy foods play for school children and their success in the classroom, dairy farmers and milk processors nationwide have organized the Great American Milk Drive, a Feeding America program to deliver gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most.

To donate, text “Milk” to 27722 or visit milklife.com/give.

Meanwhile, to boost breakfast success for your family this school year, consider these tips:

* Keep breakfast foods on hand such as ready-to-eat cereals, yogurts, white and flavored milks, and fruit.

* Build a breakfast burrito bar. Prepare toppings such as shredded cheese, diced ham, tomatoes and olives the night before. In the morning, just scramble eggs, warm tortillas and fill with your favorite toppings.

* Save money on dairy foods by buying milk by the gallon, cheese in block form and shredding it yourself, and plain, low-fat yogurt by the quart and stirring in your own flavorings, such as honey or fresh fruit.

* Whip up a yogurt smoothie or build a yogurt parfait, such as this recipe for a Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfait provided by the Midwest Dairy Council. Or, bring more smiles to the table with the Fruity Splash Smoothie.

Find more kid-friendly breakfast nutrition tips and recipes at www.DairyMakesSense.com.

Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfait

Servings: 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) peach slices in juice

1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice

2 peeled and chopped kiwis

1 cup chopped strawberries

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 carton (32 ounces) non-fat vanilla yogurt

Drain peach slices, discarding juice. Drain pineapple chunks, reserving juice. Chop peaches and pineapple.

Toss peaches, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, brown sugar, spices and reserved pineapple juice in medium bowl.

Layer 1/2 cup yogurt with 6 tablespoons of fruit salsa in each of eight parfait glasses or dessert dishes. Serve immediately.

Fruity Splash Smoothie

Servings: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

1 cup fat-free milk

5-7 large, unsweetened frozen strawberries

1 medium banana, cut into chunks

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Pour in glasses.

Note: For frozen fruit pops, pour leftover smoothie into small plastic cups. Cover cups with plastic wrap, insert stick and freeze.

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