We’ve all experienced that feeling during a late morning meeting where our thoughts wander to lunch plans. Whether we’re thinking about heating up our leftovers or excited for lunch with an old friend, it’s easy for our mind to wander when our body is focused on food. If you’re really hungry, sometimes that absent-mindedness turns to impatience and anger as you wish the minutes away until you get to enjoy lunch.
Similarly, kids in school can’t focus when they’re hungry. This has been proven time and again. Students who are hungry are more likely to have behavior and mental-health issues while being less likely to perform as well academically. Children and adolescents experiencing hunger have lower math scores and poorer grades than their peers.
If we remediate the issue, the benefits are seen almost immediately. Children consuming breakfast have improved performance on mathematical tasks, vocabulary tests, demanding mental tasks, and reaction to frustration. Providing breakfast in school classrooms provides more than simple nutrition, it changes the dynamic of the classroom by increasing retention and decreasing behavior issues; resulting in a classroom where a teacher can teach.
To learn more about the impact of hunger on education, and the studies behind the facts, click here.