Nutrition is a simple word that performs complex functionalities-it adds quality and quantity to life! Hunger can make one ‘hangry’ (anger when hungry) and make one wonder if it is us who acts in such a way. Hangry/hanger is an often-witnessed phenomenon these days that can make the individual and those around him/her unhappy. Read more on ‘hanger’ at www.firsteatright.com.
All of us are aware that we find it difficult to focus on some class, meeting or job when we are hungry. There are even researches and evidences that support the fact that hungry children don’t show much focus, have decreased attention span, face behavioral issues and are subjected to disciplinary actions whereas, well-fed children excel in their performance and make a well-established difference in contributing to or disrupting the classroom situation.
Hunger is simply not the result of refraining from eating but can be due to even-more bigger concerns such as poverty, accessibility and nutrition that are complex and interconnected. Spreading nutrition through schools is effective and a sure way to success as children spend more than 900 hours per year in school, curriculum for health include nutrition and physical education and schools reinforce behavior and reach out to most children/adolescents residing in a community. Schools are the best place to show kids what we value as a society and what is important to each of us in our community.
Recent study shows that accessibility to food affects learning in a positive way as early as kindergarten. The study published in the journal Child Development reveals that children who experience food insecurity in early childhood enter kindergarten less ready than their peers who are food-secure. The study compared results of math and reading tests along with children’s skillsets such as curiosity and self-control in both, food-secure and food-insecure, groups which revealed that food insecurity in infancy and toddlerhood proved lower cognitive and socio-economic skills in kindergarten. Remember, hunger and food insecurity are two different aspects. While the first one is a physical experience the second one is a psychological experience.
Children are malleable during early years and these lay the foundations for their long-term growth and success. Helping children overcome food insecurity and promoting nutrition can help kids in multiple ways-physical, psychological and behavioral.
School-based Programs & Their Impact
Nutrition can affect brain functioning: Numerous studies reinforce this fact and prove that nutrition affects mental capacity among school-aged children. For instance:
Each student is blessed with the capacity and potential to exceed in academics and do well at school. Improving diet quality helps to improve health and learning outcomes whereas, failing to provide our kids with a proper nutritional balance puts them at risk for missing out on meeting the necessary outcomes. Schools that provide breakfast and snacks should also plan smart meal menus that attract kids yet are replete with nutrition content.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.