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      First Fuel for School

      The state education superintendent has challenged Michigan schools to be the "First Fuel for School." The goal is to get more students to eat a healthy breakfast each morning.

      Most families these days have rushed mornings and chaotic lifestyles, which sometimes can lead to a missed breakfast or two. But doctors and dieticians have been known to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason.

      "High sugar foods aren't the best choice," said Registered Dietician at OSF St. Francis Hospital, Shayne LaMarch. "Some breakfast is better than nothing, but make sure you're getting a protein, maybe a whole grain with that, and a dairy or fruit or vegetable. That would definitely be better."

      Since the "First Fuel for School" program started, kids at Escanaba schools have participated, getting their students fueled up for the day.

      Escanaba High School starts serving breakfast at 7:30 each morning. A variety of foods are available for all the kids.

      "I like all the different stuff they have," said EHS junior, Mitchell Johnson. "They just have a way bigger variety than every other school."

      "I think it's actually helped us a lot because we don't have to worry about eating at home, and we are full when we start our testing," said EHS junior, Haley Martineau.

      So far, the breakfast program at EHS has had great success.

      Principal Leisenring says the school is working on a video to present to the students about the breakfast program to get even more kids to participate.

      "I think they understand there's a better, bigger focus on healthier eating, to help you perform better, to make you do better academically, to make you feel better," said EHS Principal Doug Leisenring. "And so we talk about that in the classes, besides the health class. Other teachers talk about it in their classes, science teachers talk about it, overall we just talk about the general 'trying to be more aware' of what we're putting in our bodies."

      Students that qualify for free or reduced lunch at the school can get the same rate for breakfast, making eating at school easier on the wallet, without sacrificing the students' healthy start to the day.

      Dieticians say that having breakfast in the morning can improve student achievement, boost mood, and help kids develop healthy eating habits for the long run.