Benefits of breakfast

Despite earlier start-time, students need to eat before school

Yaeli Greenblum, Reporter

Rolling out of bed to get to class is the new normal, but as the school year arrives with the promise of in-person school, we will have to adapt back to the old normal. School now begins at 8 a.m., over an hour earlier than it began last year. My morning routine will have to make some drastic changes, but it’ll be the one I don’t make that will affect me most.

Eating breakfast lays down the foundation for people’s mood, energy and overall health.  With no breakfast comes decreased drive and motivation to do schoolwork throughout the day. But having that foundation improves your ability to learn and greatly benefits your academic performance. 

I know this lesson personally. I used to dislike it when people woke me up to eat breakfast or praised it as the “most important meal of the day”. I didn’t eat the meal and I felt like I was doing just fine.

But the truth was that I went about my days without that strong foundation and I often found myself tired.

It took my parents and a delicious, sugary cereal to convince me of the benefits of breakfast. I found myself more energized and happy throughout my day. 

Researchers found similar results. Cardiff University did a study of 5,000 primary school students and focused on how breakfast impacted their test scores. It was found that the children were twice as likely to score higher than average on their tests if they started their day with a healthy balanced breakfast. 

Teachers notice this difference as well. In Australia, a survey of over 500 teachers found that students skipping breakfast lose two hours of learning during the day due to lack of focus. Considering that the average American teen goes to 1,170 hours of school a year, forgetting breakfast would waste over 126 hours of learning a year. It goes without saying how harmful that loss is to students.

Breakfast also helps with athletics. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that skipping the morning meal will negatively affect progress in the gym and leave athletes more prone to injuries. Eating a balanced breakfast can do just the opposite by providing energy for your workouts and helping you progress in strength and agility. 

The same study found that eating breakfast leads to fewer hunger cravings throughout the day and leaves people feeling more full. For students, this would mean feeling much more satiated and energized as they go about their school days.

Many kids forgo their breakfast for a few extra minutes of sleep. While it’s understandable that they want more sleep, those bites of food could do much more for them.

Turning off your phone and finding food to eat can set you up for success later in the day, and it doesn’t have to take much time. 19.47 seconds in the morning is the Guinness world record for eating a bowl of cereal. Although breaking a world record doesn’t have to be your top priority in the morning, eating breakfast should be. 

A granola bar, a bag of cereal or fruit are all viable options that can be eaten on the way to school if you don’t have time at home. Passing periods in between classes or before school can also be used to eat a snack. 

A simple breakfast can take you a long way. The habit of eating in the morning will help you in the present and the future when it comes to academics and athletics.