Diet makes a difference to learning


 

Research shows that ‘we are what we eat’ and this is no different for our children. 

Many children skip breakfast before school, with teenagers being the biggest culprits! However, did you know that this can have a significant impact on the quality of their learning? 

Why is breakfast so important for learning?

·      Fuels the brain

·      Improves attention

·      Increases memory

·      Promotes good behaviour

A study by The Human Appetite Research Unit at The University of Leeds, found that eating breakfast everyday is positively related to academic performance, such that those children that eat breakfast more regularly have better school grades and achievement test scores.’

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it increases our blood sugar levels which provides energy, boosts our metabolism and sets us up for the day. But it’s not just having breakfast that matters, it’s the quality of the breakfast that can really have an effect on your child’s learning. 

A breakfast high in complex carbohydrates will give your child a slow-releasing energy, fresh fruit full of vitamins and minerals will help boost their immunity and natural yoghurt or milk rich with calcium and vitamin D will help them develop strong teeth and bones. 

 

Want your child to eat healthier? 

Here are some top tips for children:

·       Make meal times fun

Make food faces on their plate, let them have a job role such as setting the table or washing vegetables 

·       Eat the rainbow

Serve lots of coloured fruits and vegetables. How many can they name? How many colours do they know?

·       Eat as a family 

Talk about their day, ask questions such as ‘who made you laugh at school today?’ ‘What did you eat for lunch?’ 

·       Be a role model

By eating healthy yourself you are showing your child the best way to eat, talk about what nutrients are in the food e.g. ‘this pasta is yummy, it has carbohydrates which gives me lots of energy!’

Want your teenager to eat healthier? 

Here are some top tips for teens:

·       Encourage them to eat breakfast

A slice of wholemeal toast, small bowl of high-fibre cereal such as Weetabix or porridge can make a difference

·       Get them involved in cooking

Fulneck students access Food & Nutrition lessons from Year 4 and all recipes are on their Google Classroom

·       Only offer healthy choices 

Provide balanced meals and don’t allow your teenager to eat fast food regularly

·       Expect them to join in at family meal times

·       Eating together is one of life’s simplest pleasures (it will also allow you to check that they’re eating enough and encourage them to eat their vegetables 

The impact of breakfast on learning in children - Family Action (family-action.org.uk)

Healthy Eating Week 13-17th June 2022

This is an annual event run by the British Nutrition Foundation to highlight the importance of healthy, active lifestyles

Visit Healthy Eating Week 2022 - British Nutrition Foundation for loads of fun activities including live cook-alongs and daily challenges.


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