An examination involving 500 teachers revealed that 72 percent of them can discern a significant difference between students who have breakfast and those who do not.
Young individuals who consume breakfast before school demonstrate a greater willingness to participate in group activities, exhibit higher levels of concentration, and appear happier in the classroom.
Conversely, students who regularly skip breakfast tend to give up on tasks quickly, display signs of fatigue, and are easily distracted.
Moreover, they lack the same level of engagement as their well-fed peers and demonstrate a diminished sense of curiosity.
Furthermore, an overwhelming 97 percent of teachers believe that breakfast, such as a bowl of cereal or toast, is crucial for the academic success of children.
This research was commissioned by Warburtons in collaboration with the charity Magic Breakfast, aiming to emphasize the importance of a nutritious breakfast and provide over a million breakfasts to underprivileged children facing food insecurity.
Lindsey MacDonald, CEO of Magic Breakfast, expressed, “At Magic Breakfast, our mission is to eliminate morning hunger as a barrier to learning for children and young people in the UK. Unfortunately, due to increasing financial pressures on families, an alarming number of children are attending school on an empty stomach.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with Warburtons and receive their support in offering more young individuals the opportunity to have a nourishing breakfast at school.”
“We understand that those who have breakfast are more settled, ready to learn, and achieve better academic results, helping them realize their aspirations.”
The Golden Opportunity for Enhanced Nutrition Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, added, “Not every child has access to breakfast before school, and we aim to address that issue.”
“We firmly believe that all children should have the opportunity to thrive at school, regardless of their circumstances.”
The study also found that, on a typical school day, children first express their hunger at 9:54 a.m.
According to the surveyed teachers via OnePoll, nearly half (48 percent) of the children in their school communities consume their morning meal while traveling, and 46 percent have breakfast at a school breakfast club.
However, teachers estimate that 34 percent of their students do not eat before commencing their lessons for the day.
Ninety-five percent of the teachers consider it important to provide children with breakfast before classes begin, but unfortunately, a quarter of them state that their school lacks a club or trolley to offer this service.
For schools that do provide breakfast facilities, typical offerings include toast, cereal, and juice.
More than seven out of ten teachers (71 percent) believe that a breakfast club allows children to settle into the school environment before lessons start.
In addition to providing a nutritious meal (76 percent), other benefits mentioned include socializing with peers (60 percent) and learning about the importance of a good breakfast (47 percent).
Regrettably, 38 percent express concerns about school budgets affecting morning clubs for students.
Apart from the nutritional aspect, 70 percent of teachers believe that a good breakfast allows children to adequately prepare for the day ahead.
Furthermore, 57 percent assert that it gives them time to fully wake up before their lessons begin.
Dietitian Priya Tew commented, “Given the cost of living crisis, many children are missing out on meals and proper nutrition at home. Thus, being provided with a balanced breakfast at school could have a profound impact on their health.”
“Children who consume a substantial breakfast intake more essential nutrients compared to those who skip breakfast.”
“While all meals are important, breakfast presents a golden opportunity to encourage children to consume fiber, calcium, B vitamins, protein, iron, as well as one serving of fruit as part of their five-a-day.”
“Numerous studies have indicated that breakfast may benefit physical health and cognitive function, enhancing concentration levels and improving a child’s prospects for success at school.”
“Skipping an entire meal each day makes it difficult for children to catch up on the necessary nutrition their bodies require and hampers their full potential in the classroom.”
Jonathan Warburton further stated, “We firmly believe that all children should have the opportunity to thrive at school, regardless of their circumstances.”
“That is why our partnership with Magic Breakfast is of utmost importance to us at Warburtons. Not every child has access to breakfast before school, and we aim to address that issue.”
“In addition to the product donations and community grants we provide through the Warburtons Foundation, our commitment to supplying 1.1 million breakfasts to schools through Magic Breakfast enables us to reach and support more families. This has been a long-standing commitment for our family business.”
10 Characteristics of Children Who Consume Breakfast Before School:
- Heightened concentration levels
- Active engagement in lessons
- Positive attitude
- Enthusiasm for being in the classroom
- Willingness to participate in class activities
- Strong memory retention of previously learned information
- Active involvement in group activities
- Improved academic performance
- Keenness to raise their hand and answer questions
- Curiosity regarding the subject matter being taught
10 Characteristics of Children Who Skip Breakfast Before School:
- Difficulty maintaining focus
- Proneness to distractions
- Limited engagement in lessons
- Tendency to give up on tasks quickly
- Negative attitude
- Easily confused
- Struggles to recall information from previous lessons
- Lack of curiosity about the subject matter
- Reduced creativity