29 Mar Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
THE DAILY STRUGGLE
I’m sure we have all been there – struggling to get out of bed when the alarm goes off, hoping for an extra few minutes in bed and often sacrificing breakfast as a result. Research has shown that 1 in 7 children, or Tribe Members to us at Thrive Tribe Academy, in the UK and Ireland go to school without having breakfast. Therefore, if you are a teacher, it’s likely that 4 or 5 of the children in your class will arrive at school without eating first.
SKIPPING BREAKFAST – WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Children that don’t eat breakfast are more likely to have concentration problems in class. Not eating breakfast can result in low blood sugar levels which may lead to children feeling irritable, and having a negative impact on their behaviour. As a teacher, I’m sure you can think of children that are less likely to reach their full potential, and cause disruption in class. Studies carried out in London have shown that when breakfast clubs were introduced to schools’, results in Key Stage 2 improved in comparison to schools’ where breakfast clubs were absent.
EATING BREAKFAST – WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
- Eating a healthy breakfast should help Tribe Members feel satisfied until morning snack time or lunchtime.
- Eating a healthy breakfast avoids snacking! Tribe Members that haven’t eaten breakfast are more likely to crave foods which are high in fats and sugar during the morning.
- Healthy breakfasts provide a variety of essential nutrients – many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D and B vitamins including folic acid.
- Childhood obesity levels are on the rise.Eating a healthy breakfast helps Tribe Members to maintain a healthy body weight.
WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO TO HELP?
It is easy to think that it’s the parents’ responsibility to ensure their children eat breakfast – but anyone with a bed loving child can appreciate the effort required to even get their shoes on let alone get them to eat a healthy breakfast. However, as a teacher, by talking to your class about the importance of breakfast you might manage to steer them in the right direction – even if it is grabbing a healthy breakfast option on the way out the door. You can do the following things to help:
- Establish how many of your pupils are eating breakfast by carrying out a quick straw poll. For example, by asking pupils to “put your hands in the air if you have eaten breakfast today”, this quick activity will help you establish how many of your pupils are currently eating breakfast already.
- Talk to your class about the choices they are making for breakfast. and compare their breakfast choices to
the Eatwell Guide. The following foods are all great
ingredients for a healthy breakfast: fruits and vegetables; wholemeal or wholegrain starchy foods; low-fat milk and dairy items; and non-dairy proteins.
- Look at labels! Many breakfast cereals aimed at Tribe Members are very high in sugar. Work with your class to think about healthier options, for example porridge with fruit on top or eggs on granary toast. Even the most reluctant breakfast eater might be encouraged to grab a banana or piece of toast on the way out the door – it’s a start!
EAT THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY WITH THRIVE TRIBE ACADEMY
It’s so important that Tribe Members eat a healthy breakfast every morning. If you’re inspired to get your school eating healthily, then we are here to help you achieve your PSHE health and wellbeing needs. We offer healthy school workshops, including healthy breakfast cook and eat sessions, on topics from 4 key healthy and wellbeing themes (i.e. healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellbeing and smoking prevention). All of our healthy school workshop packages include access to the Marathon Kids programme, an exciting project that aims to give Tribe Members the opportunity to complete a marathon throughout the course of the school year by running laps of an outdoor course once or twice a week during their lunch break.
Contact the Thrive Tribe Academy today if you’d like to know more about our exciting healthy school workshop packages.
Written by Tribe Dietitian Heather 🙂