Dear Dr. Linda,
I teach third grade and I want to tell parents to please be sure their children have had breakfast before coming to school. They can’t learn if they’re hungry! I actually have a drawer of snacks in case a child is hungry. I shouldn’t have the need for that. In addition, it’s probably illegal what I’m doing because of allergies, but a child who is hungry can’t concentrate. I’m feel that schools should provide breakfast just as we provide lunch so that we can be sure that our kids aren’t eating a piece of candy for breakfast or nothing at all. Caroline
You bring up an excellent point. In order for a child to concentrate in school, they can’t be hungry. Yet, untold numbers of children struggle in school because they are hungry or physically uncomfortable. Many of their basic needs are not being met. Many children go to school without breakfast, many are tired because they’re not getting adequate sleep, many are cold because they’re not wearing appropriate clothing for different weather conditions and many are not getting adequate physical activity so they’re not up to learning.
Let’s begin with diet. There is no escaping the fact that children need a balanced diet with all food groups represented. Skipping breakfast is probably the most common issue for kids, especially teens. School mornings are such a whirlwind that many kids rush out of the house without eating anything.