There has been a recent upsurge in the interest about Breakfast for young people; the latest initiative is supported by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Whilst these initiatives are very laudable it is nothing new; so called Breakfast clubs have been around for ages certainly I ran one in the seventies and my concern remains the same; all they are doing is masking the real problem!
At School Dynamics we ran a survey under the heading of Love Breakfast and found that too many children, of all ages and many from good homes, were missing out on Breakfast and some did not eat until lunchtime; in short it was not cool to have breakfast. In the words of Del Boy, “Breakfast is for wimps!” This misconception is what we need to tackle.
This is just another extension of the abdication of responsibility of parents; now don’t get me wrong I’m not talking of the small minority who really are in need and require all the help they can get; we owe it to them to help wherever and whenever we can. There are many parents, struggling to make ends meet, who still provide a nourishing breakfast for the family.
However, we need to take a fundamental look at what’s wrong with society, a society that laughs at achievers, a society that thinks it is uncool to sit down and have a proper meal at the beginning and end of the day, a society that has TV breakfasts and suppers. If the recent Olympics are to have a real legacy it has to be that success is OK and to attain it you need to be fed properly.
Now I’m not a politician and I realise things are not as simple as I’ve set out, but I am also a parent, a tax payer and have had some experience in Schools and I know that the vast majority of parents ensure their children leave home having had a breakfast. So, what am I saying?
Well, short term initiatives are not the answer, we need to educate parents about the effects of not having breakfast are on their child’s performance and health.
In schools and colleges:
- What about using parents meetings for a short presentation and even some examples of affordable options that they could use.
- What about giving them statistics showing the under performance of children who do not eat properly.
- How about doing a Jamie Oliver type promotion locally, using the canteen staff from the school to provide examples of nutritional meals.
How can we as Business owners help?
- Are you involved in with a School or College? There are many ways we can help from mentoring, regular visits or providing works experience.
- How about sponsoring a Breakfast Club once a month.
- What about establishing a Q&A forum and providing a healthy buffet
These are just some of the ways Schools, Colleges and Business can and are working together! If you as an individual or your Business is involved in such initiatives please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!
In the meantime, please take a look at the Magic Breakfast website http://www.magicbreakfast.com/ an excellent charity and the School Dynamics Love Breakfast site: http://www.school-dynamics.co.uk/love-breakfast/
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