Results from our new study
We have commissioned some research, which has revealed that children who eat a proper breakfast concentrate more at school and are likely to get better results.
Research conducted with 500 teachers from across the country found that nearly three quarters (72%) noticed a significant difference between children who eat breakfast and those who don’t. It showed that those that do are more willing to take part in group activities, have higher concentration levels and appear to be happier in class. On the other hand, those who don’t have breakfast can give up on tasks more quickly, show signs of tiredness and are easily distracted. They are also likely to be less engaged in the classroom and show a lack of curiosity.
This new research has been commissioned to highlight the importance of a good breakfast to support a child’s full potential in the classroom. The study marks the start of our partnership with the charity Magic Breakfast to provide over 1.1m nutritious breakfasts to children facing food insecurity, and help ensure that no child is too hungry to learn.
The research shows an enormous 97% of teachers believe breakfast, such as a piece of toast or bowl of cereal, is very important to the success of children at school. Not only can breakfast benefit a child’s academic success but according to 60% of teachers it can also improve their ability to socialise with other students.
As the cost of living crisis continues, 4 million children in the UK have experienced food insecurity and are at risk of going to school hungry. According to the teachers polled, nearly half of children (46%) in their school communities are now having their morning meal at a breakfast club but that sadly 34% don’t have breakfast at all before the school day starts.
Providing children something to eat before classes begin is important according to 95% of teachers, but a quarter say their school doesn’t have a club or trolley to offer this. What’s more, 38% of teachers worry about school budgets impacting morning breakfast clubs for children who – on average – will first say they are ‘hungry’ at 9:54am. More than seven in 10 teachers (71%) also believe a breakfast club gives children time to settle into the school environment before lessons begin. That’s why the support of charities like Magic Breakfast is so vital, who, alongside Warburtons, can help schools support more children across the country.
Pryia Tew, Dietician and Nutrition Professional, said: “In light of the cost of living crisis, many more children are missing out on meals and nutrition at home, so being provided with a balanced breakfast at school could make a huge impact to their health. Children who eat a hearty breakfast have a higher intake of key nutrients than breakfast skippers. Whilst all meals are important, breakfast can be a golden opportunity to encourage children to eat fibre, calcium, B vitamins, protein, iron as well as one of their five a day with a portion fruit.
“Numerous studies have shown breakfast may benefit physical health and cognitive function too – improving concentration levels and chances of a child’s success at school. Missing out a whole meal a day is going to make it hard to catch up on the nutrition their bodies need and reach their full potential in the classroom.”
Lindsey Macdonald, CEO at Magic Breakfast said: “At Magic Breakfast it’s our mission to end morning hunger as a barrier to learning for children and young people in the UK. However, as financial pressures continue to stretch more and more families, sadly an increasing number of children are going to school hungry. We’re thrilled to be working with Warburtons and to have their support in providing more young people the chance to have a nutritious breakfast at school. We know that those who have had a breakfast are more settled, ready to learn and go on to achieve better results at school, helping them realise their dreams.”
Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, commented: “We firmly believe that all children should get the opportunity to thrive at school, no matter their circumstances. That’s why our partnership with Magic Breakfast is so important to us here at Warburtons – not every child has access to breakfast before school and we want to help change that. On top of the product donations and community grants we make through the Warburtons Foundation, our pledge to provide 1.1 million breakfasts to schools through Magic Breakfast means we’ll be able to reach and support more families – something our family business has been committed to since we began.”
The survey revealed the following:
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN WHO DO EAT BREAKFAST BEFORE SCHOOL
- High concentration levels
- Engaged with the lesson
- A positive attitude
- Happier to be in the classroom
- A willingness to participate in class activities
- A good memory of things we’ve previously learnt/spoken about
- Contributing to group activities
- Better grades
- Raising their hand to answer questions
- Curiosity about what is being taught
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN WHO DON’T EAT BREAKFAST BEFORE SCHOOL
- Struggles to concentrate
- Easily distracted
- Not fully engaged with the lesson
- Give up on tasks quickly
- A negative attitude
- Easily confused
- Struggles to remember things from previous lessons
- Lack of curiosity about what is being taught
- Less creative
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