Why Student Nutrition Programs?
Did you know…
42% of students report they do not eat in the morning every day?
36% of students do not eat the recommended 3 servings or more of milk products daily?
45% of students do not eat the recommended minimum 5 servings daily of vegetables and fruit?
Student Health Survey, 2003—Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk
Studies show that children and youth who are well-nourished perform better at school and are able to concentrate longer. Undernourished children have lower self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, and are absent more often. Providing a universal student nutrition program does more than just alleviate in-school hunger. Student nutrition programs are beneficial in many ways. They help:
- Contribute to child’s overall health;
- Improve students’ cognitive performance and their educational achievement;
- Improve classroom behaviour;
- Provide a safety net for children and youth who may be at risk of not eating an adequate breakfast in the morning because they are not hungry, their parents are not home, breakfast may be a low priority, or there may be financial concerns;
- Provide a vehicle for delivering nutrition education and consistent healthy eating messages; and,
- Foster a sense of community by providing a way to involve the parents of school children and other agencies.
Creating a Healthy School Nutrition Environment:
A Resource for School Decision Makers
Brant County Health Unit, 2005