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Breakfast + Dinner: A Student’s Meal Ticket to Success

August 11, 2015

By Jessica Vician

Breakfast + Dinner: A Student’s Meal Ticket to Success | Your child can't focus or succeed in school if they're hungry. Be sure that they have a healthy breakfast to help them focus in class and a healthy dinner to help them sleep so they're rested the next morning. | A family eats breakfast in the morning.

“Breakfast might not just be the most important meal of a child’s day—it might be one of the most important meals of their life.”

If that’s not a statement that makes you want to stuff your child full of eggs, fruit, and whole wheat toast in the morning, I don’t know what is.

That statement opens a report from CNN about a study on the benefits of students eating breakfast versus the disadvantages of those students not eating breakfast.

The study found that kids who eat breakfast miss less school and do better in math, which in turn makes them 20 percent more likely to graduate high school. That might seem like a stretch, but the long-term study gets even more real when revealing those graduates will earn an average of $10,000 more annually than non-high school graduates.

The takeaway? If you want to increase the chances that your child will graduate from high school and therefore have a better life as an adult, you need to start by feeding him or her breakfast.

Why? Breakfast gives your child energy and nutrients that can help him or her focus in class. If your child is hungry, he or she can’t focus on what the teacher is doing, which will prevent him or her from learning and retaining skills and lessons.

Need some quick and healthy breakfast ideas

Okay, so you know why your child needs a nutritious breakfast. You also know that he or she will have a nutritious lunch at school. But what about dinner?

Dinner is also critical for your child’s success for the same reasons breakfast is. A healthy dinner gives your child the nutrients he or she needs to grow and be a healthy child. It also helps your child sleep better.

Sleep is critical to helping your child succeed in school. Without a proper night’s rest, your child will have trouble staying awake, paying attention, and retaining the day’s lessons in class. To help your child get a good night’s sleep, include protein and carbohydrates (meats, fish, beans and fiber-rich grains) at dinner.

This article offers quick and healthy dinner ideas, including a recipe.

If you are unable to afford to provide your child with breakfast in the morning, talk to the school about applying for the free and reduced price lunch program, which may extend to breakfast. For help providing a nutritious dinner, seek out a food assistance program.

For more information on how your child’s physical health affects his or her academic success, see the YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher books. 

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Think Before You Share: Protect Your Child’s Privacy on Social Media

August 4, 2015

By Noralba Martinez

Think Before You Share: Protect Your Child’s Privacy on Social Media | When you share photos of your kids on social media, those photos can fall into the wrong hands. Read on for how to protect your family. | A mother and father take selfies with their two kids while on a carnival ride.

This summer, as our kids are having a blast being out of school, we parents are trying to capture every fun moment to treasure it forever. Smartphones have made it easy to snap photos and immediately upload them to social media accounts for all our family and friends to see.

But what if more than just your family and friends are seeing the photos of your kids? How safe are those photos? According to an infographic published by Go-Gulf, over “600,000 Facebook accounts are compromised every day.” How would a social media hack affect your children’s privacy?

My friends and I were talking about how we can protect our children’s innocence as long as we can in the age of social media. One of my friends told me to Google our names. Luckily only one picture popped up of me (the one used for this website), but my friends and their kids were not as lucky—some of their personal and private pictures were on the Internet for everyone to see because they weren’t taking proper precautions.

Use these quick and easy tips to keep your children (and entire family) safe from being overexposed and away from dangerous people like pedophiles and hackers.

  • Keep all social media accounts private. If you feel your accounts are not safe enough, delete the information you don’t want shared or stored and close the accounts.
  • Only share your pictures with family and close friends. Keep in mind that once you post an image on many social media platforms, that company owns the photo and can use it for marketing purposes. Even when sharing with people you trust, only share what you don’t mind others seeing.
  • Change passwords regularly and be creative with them to avoid having your accounts hacked. Don’t use birthdays, anniversaries, or your children or pets’ names, either.
  • Back up photos to your computer or an external hard drive and then remove them from your phone.
  • Always lock your phone, in case someone steals it.

Remember that memories of your children will be around for a long time, even if you don’t post a photo of it on social media. Some of the best ones are preserved in your heart. Cherish the moment—don’t lose it because you are looking for your phone.

To learn more about proper technology use for your kids, see the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher 3-book set

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