Are your kids eating the right breakfast? Take the test here

Your children will do better in school if you serve them the right breakfast

12 October 2017 - 09:47
A good breakfast helps children concentrate in class.
A good breakfast helps children concentrate in class.
Image: RAMA

What did your child have for breakfast today? Something as simple as deciding what to serve your kids before school could have a profound effect on their ability to pay attention in class.

This year, South Africa celebrates National Nutrition Week from October 9 to 15. It’s a reminder for South Africans to think about the nutrition choices they make as individuals and as parents, and to realise how optimal nutrition will help them lead healthier, more balanced lives. 

With nutrition in the spotlight, Rama wanted to remind the country of the importance of a good breakfast, particularly for schoolchildren.

Unilever recently commissioned a scientific white paper on the value of habitually eating a nutritious breakfast, in relation to the growth and development of children in South Africa.

Take the test

This National Nutrition Week, put your breakfast habits to the test! Click here to do the Breakfast Check

Research shows poor nutrition among school-going children diminishes their cognitive performance through physiological changes and by reducing their ability to learn. Without a good breakfast, they can struggle to concentrate and perform complex tasks, even if they are otherwise well nourished. 

Studies compiled in the scientific white paper reveal that children who regularly skip breakfast are not likely to concentrate in class, thus affecting their academic performance. The studies also show 86% of children surveyed said eating breakfast before school helped them concentrate better, and 89% said it gave them energy for the rest of the day.

In response, Rama decided to focus on South African children’s breakfast habits to help them lead healthier lives and improve their performance in school.

It is addressing this issue in two ways: through a schools programme that teaches kids the importance of a good breakfast every day and through a digital programme for parents.

Last month, the Good Breakfast Schools Programme launched in 360 schools in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The four-week programme taught children the importance and make-up of a good breakfast through interactive classes, including a breakfast pledge and a song, The Breakfast Beat, written by musician and Good Breakfast ambassador ProVerb.

“In the song are the fundamentals of what makes a good breakfast,” said ProVerb. “Kids can sing the song or recite it to themselves, and it can help them make good breakfast choices. It can also help encourage parents to be part of the process, to help their kids prepare a good breakfast in the morning so they can have a great day.”

By following the journey of the Good Breakfast comic-book characters, children in these primary schools learned how the major food groups contributed to a well-rounded breakfast.

The programme also included exercises for children to work through with their parents, many of whom may have been surprised to find their children weren’t getting the best possible breakfast. But, through the Good Breakfast Programme, they could start improving their kids’ breakfast habits at home.

Parents can still find the online programme on Rama’s website and social media pages. It includes the “Breakfast Check”, accessed via the website or Facebook Messenger, which lets parents assess their family’s breakfast habits and help them make better choices. Rama’s website is a hub of information and inspiration relating to nutritional breakfast choices. 

This article was paid for by Rama.