Attention California teens taking the SAT exam on Saturday October 5th.
What are you having for breakfast?
You have less than 48 hours to prep for this crucial meal on this crucial day--so check your fridge and head out to a 24-hour Safeway-- NOW.
I tell you this, because the morning of my own SAT exam, many decades ago, I had a Pop Tart with breakfast (extra credit if you know what a Pop Tart is).
And as a result, I didn't get into Stanford.
Don't let this happen to you!!!!
So......as you head out to Safeway (don't forget bike lights reflective clothing, and helmets if you are biking)--here's what should be going through your minds:
What's the ideal SAT breakfast?
a)Ramen noodles b)a Subway breakfast sandwich c)bacon, eggs, and toast d)a Happy Donut
The best answer here is (C)--but there are better selections.
Silicon Valley Moms agree--it's a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats--eggs, toast and peanut butter were the big winners in a very informal poll of Linfield Oaks neighborhood Moms and my Facebook friend Moms and Dads--most of whom have Ivy League kids and/or have been Ivy Leaguers themselves.
(We're talking legacy eating here)
Here's one very thoughtful e-mail that I received from Menlo Park Mom, Maryclair Thomas, which covers all the bases:
My sons are really great test takers, and I always make sure that the day before, they eat lots of fruits and veggies, so that the day of the test they can properly relieve themselves, which always makes one feel better, right?
The night before the test, serve a balanced meal, not heavy in sugar, and they should get up to a nice meal all ready for them the day of the test
The day of the test: eggs (with cheese if desired), toast and fruit with milk or water is good.
Coffee is not something my sons (17 and 19) like-so don't give it to your child if they haven't had it before. Send a bottle of water with a builders bar or their favorite snack.
Also, very important-send a note, perhaps on their napkin, telling them something like:
"You are an awesome test taker! Go for it!"
Here's another very thoughtful and detailed list of suggestions from Mom and neighbor Nancy Hosay:
I made my kids a mix of protein and complex carbs for breakfast, so they have a mix of short term easily digestible energy (complex carbs - i.e. whole grains not white flour carbs if the kids will eat whole wheat/whole grain stuff) and longer term energy ( protein) -- so things like an egg sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Of course the breakfast should be things the kids like and will eat, and not so much that they feel ill ( they'll be nervous). So apples and peanut butter, oatmeal with milk and nuts To drink, whatever they usually have is fine. Water, juice, etc. ; if the kid usually has coffee in the morning I guess that's fine, but I wouldn't have coffee if they don't habitually use it -- it makes you jittery and makes you pee -- neither of which you need more of on test day!
As for snacks, they can't eat during testing, so it has to be something they can munch on during breaks -- bottled water is great; some kind of energy bar they like; cold chocolate milk is a great energy satisfying snack food/beverage -- protein and sugars for short and longer term energy --"juice boxes"-- work great, they have their own straw even! Make sure they have been in the fridge overnight -
I believe Whole Foods has three packs of chocolate milk, and Trader Joe's used to carry them too); peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread; peanut butter on apples; lean meat sandwiches; nuts and dried fruit mix, etc.
Of course, whatever breakfast and snack they eat, it has to be something they like; if kids won't/don't eat breakfast, try to get them to drink chocolate milk or some other protein in the morning, then pack them a... snack,
Most important? A good night's sleep the night before. Staying up really late to cram doesn't help, it hurts -- you need sleep to let your brain absorb all the stuff it needs to absorb.
Still looking for ideas? Here are some snack ideas from The Perfect Score Project.
And if you are one of the kids who has to wake up on SAT morning and make your own breakfast, using whatever food happens to be in the house--you are in luck.
You can write an essay about it that demonstrates your self reliance and ingenuity.
For example, my mother never wrote me a note that said,
"You are an awesome note taker, go for it!"
Which is probably another reason I didn't get into Stanford.
But enough about me!
Best of luck to all the test takers, their families, and the people who grow and prepare our bountiful food!
Causes Lauren John Supports
Keplers Bookstore Circle of Friends (Menlo Park)
Friends of the Menlo Park Public Library
Book Group Expo
Marin Agricultural Land Trust...