1. Importance of Breakfast for Children: There are numerous evidences that breakfast, either at home or at school, is an important way to start the day. Many studies suggest that regular breakfast skippers don't optimize their nutrition during the day. And, going without breakfast can lead to poor behaviour. Breakfast eaters are more likely to be calmer, less anxious, more focused and learn better. Breakfast also tends to organize children's day, particularly if they eat breakfast at school. Nutritionists recommend that breakfast should provide 25%* of daily nutrients. Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast miss out on many vital nutrients and are unlikely to make up for this during the rest of the day. A number of studies support the premise that breakfast improves short-term memory and performance. This is especially true of children who skip breakfast. They are not as efficient in school as those who do eat breakfast and they do not perform as well in both math and creative subjects. Without eating breakfast, their energy levels are low and they simply can't concentrate throughout the morning. 95% of primary school head teachers say they have a problem with pupils who don't have enough energy to stay attentive all day. 2. Importance of breakfast for children overall nutrient intake:
It's certainly possible for children to miss breakfast and get all the nutrients they need, but it's more likely they won't. Parents shouldn't panic if their child misses breakfast one day because they're running out the door; they can make that up. But, a regular pattern of missing breakfast is likely to lead to not eating all the important nutrients. Breakfast offers an opportunity for children to make up whatever they might not get in the rest of the day, especially if they snack on foods that provide few nutrients and little fibre. Breakfast can be an important source of essential nutrients for children, especially for picky eaters who do not eat a wide variety of foods, or for children who are so busy that they may not sit down to full meals for the rest of the day. 3. Influence of breakfast on children academic performance: If you compare children who eat breakfast in school to those who don't, they are better behaved, do better in some subjects like math, and are absent and tardy less often. The teachers, parents and children themselves feel better about the way they interact. Children who eat breakfast may have fewer behavioural problems in the classroom. The Food and Action Research Center says students who do not have breakfast tend to be hyperactive, have behavioural issues and show difficulty getting along with other students. 4. Reason of children resistance to breakfast: Given the abundance of compelling information on the benefits of breakfast consumption, why does one out of eight school children start the day without eating breakfast? Some are not encouraged to do so by their parents, while others make arguments for avoiding breakfast. Some common arguments are lack of time, absence of hunger, and distaste for breakfast foods. No matter what the barrier, parents can and should find a way around them. 5. Role of breakfast on class attendance and higher test scores: Children who eat breakfast are absent from school fewer days. They also spend less time in the nurse's office complaining of stomach pains. Ironic as it may be, children who claim they don't eat breakfast due to a lack of time in the morning are tardy more often than those who take time for a morning meal. A study published in 1998 in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine showed significantly higher math test scores after children ate breakfast. This and other research has clearly shown that children who consistently eat breakfast test higher in most academic areas. 6. Conclusion: In conclusion, it is clearly evident that breakfast is the most important meal of our day. Neglecting this meal can stop children from reaching their optimum health peak. Yet, while children are quite aware of the importance of breakfast they lack the knowledge as to what the short and long term benefits are. Moreover, they are just as unaware of the physical and mental consequences of neglecting breakfast can have. Emphasizing the benefits that breakfast can have on children’s energy level, stamina and alertness could motivate many to practice healthier breakfast habits.