I Don’t Need Breakfast to Learn (Or Do I?)

While walking through the school cafeteria today, I stopped to chat with a second grader. Playfully, I pretended to take away her fruit bowl.

“You can have it… I don’t like fruit,” she gladly told me.

I wondered what conversations about food she has at home with her parents.

In all my health and wellness classes, the most commonly repeated phrase was, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

Another adage is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Have you heard these two sayings? They seem to pop up everywhere food is discussed.

But when I talk to children I hear things like, “I don’t eat breakfast,” or “I can’t eat early in the morning.”

In fact, my daughter made the second statement every morning up until she graduated from middle school.

What did I do?

Ignored it.

Pretended I didn’t hear her.

Placed her breakfast on the table, called her, and let her know I expected her to eat it.

At other times, we had discussions about the importance of eating breakfast… putting the right fuel in the brain so it could do its best work… variations of preparation and food choices that yield similar nutrients…

Now that she is in high school, there is no longer the need for those kinds of conversations. She does her own research, makes wise food choices not only for her breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner, and informs me of her decisions.

She does have her “cheat days” on Saturdays when she eats her favorite not-so-healthy snacks.

Last week, she informed me that she had decided to become vegan for 1 month.  Gave me a shopping list. And has stuck to her plan so far.

According to the Journal of Current Nutrition and Food Science,

                “Over the past five years, significant new evidence has documented the link

between eating breakfast and learning. Recent studies show that skipping breakfast is

relatively common among children in the U.S. and other industrialized nations and is

associated with quantifiable negative consequences for academic, cognitive, health, and

mental health functioning.”

What conversations do you have with your children or family about breakfast?

Florence is the mother of an amazing teenager; an educational consultant, author, speaker, speech-language pathologist, encourager and perpetual optimist. She shares tips, tools and resources with mothers (and other caregivers) of struggling and/or failing children. She is fiercely committed to helping them develop and enhance their children's foundational skills for learning, to grow them to success in school and life. A believer in the unique learning abilities of all children, she is an advocate for those who learn differently.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “I Don’t Need Breakfast to Learn (Or Do I?)

  1. Don’t I know it? So many of my students (high school) don’t eat breakfast, but walk in with either a 32-ounce soda, a huge coffee, or a bag of chips. They refuse to believe that their breakfast habits have anything to do with their grades. I keep talking about it and keep hoping that someday they’ll learn.

    Flo, it’s been a pleasure *meeting you* through UBC. The challenge may be over, but I will definitely drop by again soon.

    • Keep talking, Doc, and the understanding will come, one day. Perhaps, too late for their high school careers, but on time for their college success.

      I’ve also enjoyed chatting with you. It’s always a pleasure meeting like-minded people, especially when we are moving in the same direction… toward fulfilling our great calling and living our highest purpose.

      I look forward to continuing our conversations.

  2. Thank goodness my son LOVES to eat and would eat breakfast all day if I let him (as long as his breakfast included cereal). I sometimes find it harder to eat early in the day but I do it anyway. I just don’t eat as much as I might later on.

    • Good for your son. Just be careful with the sugar content in the cereals.

      The important thing is to break the fast you were on while sleeping. Don’t worry about how much breakfast you eat.

      Thanks for sharing your breakfast journey with us.