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A Winning Breakfast

March 7, 2014, 6:12 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

A Winning Breakfast

What do you get when you mix a former professional athlete with health officials, dairy farmers and students? Well, Brandon school leaders hope it's the recipe to encourage healthier breakfasts.

Most students have likely heard from parents and teachers that they should eat a healthy breakfast but it's not every day you hear that message from a former NFL linebacker.

"The competitive edge nutrition gives you as a professional player is easy for me to relay to these kids and try to educate them just a little bit of what I know," former Minnesota Viking linebacker Ben Leber said.

Leber played with the Vikings for five seasons and the San Diego Chargers for four seasons. He's currently a sports broadcaster and helps the program Fuel Up to Play 60.

"It's all about getting out and exercising and playing for 60 minutes a day, however, you can get it. There's also a big nutrition component to it," Leber said.

On Friday, Leber told students at Robert Bennis Elementary School in Brandon that you don't have to spend a lot of time making a healthy breakfast. Instead, grab a banana, milk, cheese or eggs.

The Vermillion native says he was lucky that his mother always prepared him a hearty first meal of the day.

"My mom is Korean and Korean moms are kind of like Italian moms where if two people are coming over, they're going to make enough food for 20. That's kind of how breakfast was," Leber said.

There are many reasons to eat a healthy breakfast. Research shows it can help students in the classroom and even help their behavior.

"Your whole demeanor for the whole day is going to be set in a better way," Brandon Valley Schools Child Nutrition Director Gay Anderson said.

And hopefully this appearance will inspire kids to win in the classroom and the field by eating a nutritious breakfast.

"I want to be healthy. I want to go play in the pros somewhere, basketball or baseball or football," Fifth Grader Aydin Lloyd said.

Anderson also points out that if you don't have time to eat breakfast at home, students can also eat it at school in Brandon. Nationwide though, school lunch numbers are down.

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