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Ohio State University Extension


Kindergarten: Get Off to a Good Start

Backpack Buddies for September
Family and Consumer Sciences
Author: Elaine Collins, Extension Educator–Family and Consumer Sciences, Adams County.
Revised by: Betsy DeMatteo, Extension Program Coordinator–Family and Consumer Sciences, Hamilton County.

Entering kindergarten is a big step for any child. Ohio State University Extension offers these suggestions for helping your child get off to a good start this year.

Begin With Breakfast

Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day for a young child. Studies have shown that students who start the day with a nutritious breakfast make better grades, concentrate better, and make fewer mistakes than non-breakfast eaters. Your school may offer a free or reduced breakfast program. Contact your school's office for information. Here are some nutritious breakfast ideas:

  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies made with fruit and yogurt
  • Cooked cereal
  • Bran or fruit muffins
  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Low sugar cereal (like Cheerios) and milk
  • Scrambled egg and whole wheat toast or waffles, topped with fresh fruit

End with a Routine

Establishing a regular evening routine helps children learn what is expected of them and makes bedtime easier.

Set aside some time each evening for reviewing your child's papers from school. Display papers proudly on your refrigerator or wall. Encourage your children to show you what they have learned.

Set aside a specific amount of time for TV watching. If children know that TV time is always from 7:00 to 8:00 and bath time follows, they are less likely to argue.

Once your child has been tucked into his or her own bed for the night, spend a few minutes discussing events of the day or sharing a bedtime story. This special time gives your child a feeling of security and provides a great opportunity for you to learn about what is going on in your child's life.

For more information about all kinds of parenting topics, search online for the Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERNET).

Here are some common breakfast foods.

Have your child color the foods that look good for breakfast.


Goddard, E. (2009, July 29). Breakfast and Children's Performance at School. Accessed from Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network on February 18, 2010, at

Edited by: Rose Fisher Merkowitz, Extension Educator–Family and Consumer Sciences, Highland County; Kathy L. Jelley, Extension Educator–Family and Consumer Sciences, Brown County; and Scott Scheer, Professor and Extension Specialist–Human and Community Resource Development and 4-H Youth Development, The Ohio State University.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2015.