“Aadil got such bad marks in Social Studies this time. While doing the practice he knew all the concepts. I don’t understand what happened.” Aadil’s mother Sia was heard saying this to the class teacher. Sia isn’t the only mother who is disappointed by her child’s low academic performance. We as mothers wonder the same every time test results are out. The reason for it is so obvious that it seems to miss our eyes.
It is the morning scene of almost every house with young children in the morning(including mine).
The mother yells – it’s school time, wake up!
The Child wakes up groggy.
Wanting to catch another wink.
He/She dozes off again.
Mother is busy in the kitchen preparing breakfast. ( or dealing with another sleepy child who refuses to wake up)
Tantrums are thrown! (Phew!)
Finally, children are ready for school. A glance at the clock and it’s 2 minutes left for the school bus /carpool to arrive.
The harried child and mother dash out of the door to catch the ride to school.
The same pattern repeats every morning.
Notice what’s getting missed here??
Something which should be the most important meal of the day lays on the dining table uneaten.
Little do we know that skipping breakfast and going empty stomach to school is affecting your child’s performance at school – and NOT in a good way.
This Could Be the Reason for Your Child’s Low Performance in School
A child who goes empty stomach to school is irritable, restless and low in energy. He/She is unable to perform to their full potential. Hence, academic performance takes a dip.
The child isn’t at fault here. And the reasons for them not eating breakfast are
1. Heavy dinner the previous night – Dinner consisting of refined flour like pasta, sandwiches, pizzas etc can cause the child to wake up feeling full. Hence skipping breakfast.
2. Late dinner – Child slept late because “guests were over”. “My family system is such that we have dinner after 9 pm”. Reason can be any. But this causes a satiated belly in the morning. Science has proven that the gap between dinner and sleeping time should be a minimum of 2-3 hours.
3. Late Nights – A homework assignment, science test the next day or maybe a movie night, can keep them up till late. Child’s body doesn’t know the difference. It needs a minimum of 10 hours of sleep (for children below 12 years of age).
These can a few of the factors that constitute crankiness while waking up and not hungry for breakfast.
So what do we do now?
As a parent we made breakfast but the child did not eat it. What can we do! We tried – didn’t we.
How to Turn Low Academic Performance into Leading Grades
Now that we have established the causes, let’s look at the solutions.
1. Ensure the child eats a balanced meal consisting of the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fibre. And eating at the right time is crucial.
Read this short article on how to plan meals for school-going children.
2. Children should have a fixed bedtime. They function better when their schedule is transparent. A Child needs to know the number of hours of sleep their body needs. Educate them on the same. It will reduce the sleepytime struggle.
Click here to download our timetable. You can use the same to plan your child’s day in the most effective manner.
Children who eat a well-balanced breakfast are
1. Less likely to become obese
Science has proven a child who begins the day with a healthy breakfast tends to make healthier choices in the rest of the meals as well.
2. Reach optimum nutrition levels
3. Physically and Mentally Alert ie finish their work faster
4. Better hand-eye coordination
5. Improved problem-solving skills
6. Higher cognition
Studies in neuroscience show evidence that habitual breakfast ( frequency and quality) positively affect a child’s academic performance especially in subjects like Maths.
Beyond Academic Performance
Children who go full belly are emotionally and mentally healthier.
So What Should My Child be eating for Breakfast?
Making breakfast on school mornings shouldn’t have to be elaborate but balanced and varied.
Dishes like a whole wheat sandwich, vegetable idli, sweet/ savoury oats, boiled/poached eggs etc do not take a lot of preparation time yet are super healthy for children. Most children enjoy eating them as well.
Here are some easy and quick recipes for your child’s first meal of the day
Let us know in the comment section below which recipes resonated with you the most. Share its pictures with us. It brings us a lot of joy.
Great Sonam ,very relevant and practical tips.thanks for sharing in such an approachable way??