An often overlooked part of any child’s school experience is the impact that nutrition plays on their performance in class as well as their overall mental and physical well-being. So, what can you do to make sure that your child is being set up for success when it comes to food.
One of the best ways to make sure that your child goes into their day on the right foot is to ensure that they eat a healthy, balanced breakfast that will provide the nutrients and energy to keep them going throughout what is a fairly long school day. That’s why federally assisted breakfast programs have been in place in public schools for decades: without a proper breakfast, students are behind the 8-ball, so to speak, before the day even starts.
A lack of a nutritional breakfast foundation isn’t just a matter of a child being a little bit hungry as they start their early school day. No breakfast, or a nutritionally deficient breakfast, can lead to lethargy, lack of motivation, and even diminished performance in school. But only in recent years have researchers begun to realize that a dearth of nutritional foundation in childhood years may in fact lead to chronic problems later in life as an adult. This means it’s absolutely critical to ensure that your child is getting a healthy breakfast every single day in order to set them up for maximum possible success all throughout their life.
One thing is certain: kids just need different things when it comes to food than adults. First of all, consider the fact that children in school don’t necessarily have the same access to food as we adults do. For starters, they can’t simply snack on food whenever they want it or are starting to feel a little bit hungry. There are often rules as to when students are allowed to eat; and what’s more, students’ access to money revolves around what their parents give them. That combination results in a striking amount of children who are “nutritionally needy.”
If a child is worried about when they’ll get their next meal, they’re not going to be able to attenuate to their latest assignment. That means they’ll have worse performance on tests and scholastic activities that play a direct role in their future academic success. The more research is done, the more we begin to soberly realize the direct and profound effect that nutrition has on our children’s future.
The next time you’re about to send your child out the door for the day to go off to school, take a second look at whether they are set up for nutritional success that day — their future may depend on it!