December 15th, 2009
We’ve all seen the statistics of unhealthy eating on children’s physical health, but recently I have come across some research about the impact of student nutrition on academic performance.
The studies I have found show that breakfast is important for students of all ages, from early childhood to college level. According to a study by the Food Research and Action Center, children who skip breakfast before school have slower memory recall, lower cognitive test scores, and attendance issues. Surveys of college students have indicated that as a result of skipping breakfast, they tend to fall asleep during class and become unable to concentrate.
While over 10 million students are participating in a school breakfast program, many more, approximately 30 million, participate in school lunch programs. Whether your school offers breakfast and lunch, or just lunch, it is important to be sure that your nutrition programs offer healthy options.
Changing your school’s nutrition program to offer healthier options can be a high-profile event in which you involve students and parents. Getting their buy-in upfront, as well as that of the school district, will make the transition easier, and minimize any negative reactions. By building awareness about why the changes are necessary and enlisting the support of influential students or organizations, implementing the healthy eating during the school day will be seen as a positive change.
Has your school implemented any special programs to encourage healthy eating?
Read more why and how to promote a healthy meal program in 4imprint’s Education Newsletter.