1 in 5 South African children do not eat breakfast each morning, giving them a disadvantage in school as they struggle to concentrate and learn on an empty stomach.
The importance of nutrition for cognitive development has been well established in research and studies. Del Rosso (1999, p. 5) provides a concise summary of the impact of poor nutrition:
“Children who lack certain nutrients in their diet do not have the same potential for learning as healthy and well-nourished children. Weak health and poor nutrition among school-age children diminish their cognitive development by reducing their ability to participate in learning experiences”
School feeding programs
In response to children not receiving the proper nutrients to assist with learning and growing, many schools are providing free school feeding programs that provide children with at least one free school meal per day. Not only does this alleviate the children’s hunger but it also improves cognitive development and school attendance rates.
Dreams To Reality are amongst the volunteer organisations who not only provide children with learning opportunities, but who ensure their tummies are full to adequately play, learn and concentrate during each day. Each volunteer program includes creating healthy balanced meals for the children so they can enjoy each day to the fullest.
Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days initiative
Kellogg’s wants everyone to share in the power of breakfast and are donating more than R10 million in cereal and milk to Foodbank who will in turn distribute this to needy schools across South Africa. This means that 25 000 children in 50 schools across the country will have breakfast at school every day. By buying a specially marked box of Kellogg’s cereal, everyone can now contribute one serving of breakfast to those in need.