Importance of breakfast for School Children

You might ask what prompted me to write this post?  I have a story behind it. During one of my physics classes as part of internship, I had to teach my kids about energy. In order to make the class more interactive, I started by asking what they had eaten for breakfast. My idea was to take the thread from there and link it to food and energy. As I began asking a few of them, I realized that not many had actually eaten breakfast, which came to me as a surprise. As children, my brother and I used to leave for school at 6.30 am and I don’t remember ever skipping breakfast. Well, skipping it was never an option provided to us by our mother 😉 , which in hindsight was a good thing.

Many people underestimate the importance of breakfast. It is said to be the most important meal of the day for a reason. But we see kids and adults around us skipping breakfast for a variety of reasons, from lack of time to cutting down calories to no appetite. After 8 to 12 hours of no food during sleep, it is important to break the fast and refuel the body to prepare it for the rest of the day. A healthy breakfast has a positive impact on energy levels and brain functioning, which is very important for school children. Their developing brains and growing bodies need the regular intake of food. It has been found that kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier throughout the day. A hungry child on the other hand may end up snacking on ‘junk food’ such as chips and cookies.

Breakfast gives children the energy they need for the rest of their day, to handle the physical and intellectual activities. It helps them concentrate better on learning and remembering stuff as well as playing. There have been times in class when kids complain about headache or tummy ache, and the first question we ask them as teachers is if they have had their breakfast. 7 out of 10 times, the answer is no. Staying hungry for such long periods of time deprives their body of the nutrition it needs making them more irritable, tired and restless.

As parents, it might be difficult to coax children to have their breakfast, particularly if it is not a habit. Bringing in some variety and creativity into the meal can make it more interesting. For children who say they aren’t hungry in the morning or are in a rush, healthy on-the-go alternatives could be a piece of fruit and milk, or a healthy smoothie.

A calm and healthy breakfast every day helps children get into good habits that they can carry through life. Remember, it is always better to wake up 10 minutes earlier than to skip breakfast!

This is a beautiful ad I saw by Amul about the harsh reality of modern Indian families. Take a look..

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One thought on “Importance of breakfast for School Children

  1. Good point in there. I feel that with kids it is safer to cover all angles, and not just a skipped breakfast when they have a tummy ache or a headache. Have you considered doing a follow-up article covering how some of the children and families you have talked to have shifted habits?

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