Skipping breakfast not the best start
LONDON – Thousands of young people are skipping breakfast, leaving themselves tired and irritable, says a study.
According to a survey of 10 000 parents across Britain, around one in six secondary school pupils aged 11 to 16 don’t have a morning meal.
The findings, published in a report by the Local Authority Caterers Association, could account for low concentration levels in the classroom.
It concludes: “Students going without breakfast cannot be at their best for learning during morning lessons and so can be less attentive and a disruption in class.”
Overall results showed that 15 per cent of secondary school pupils are going to school without breakfast – the equivalent of around four pupils in a class of 30.
Meanwhile 3.9 per cent of primary schoolchildren aged 4 to 11 are missing out.
The report, commissioned to mark National School Meals Week from November 7 to 11, also showed that many parents are still wary of free school meals (FSM).
Almost one in six (14.8 per cent) of parents with children eligible for FSM – a measure of poverty – said they did not take up this entitlement.
The main reasons given by parents were that they have a family meal in the evening, their child likes to eat with their friends and that they were worried their youngster would be identified as being on FSM.
Judy Hargadon, chief executive of the School Food Trust, said it must be the parent’s responsibility to ensure that children are well fed before and during the school day.
She said: “With school food no longer inspected by Ofsted, the influence of parents is very powerful in demanding that every child has a good experience at lunchtime.
“When children eat better, they do better, and how they feel about lunch can make or break their entire day at school.” (Daily Mail.)