Hero photograph


Hayley Lam 13ME —

The Level 3 Food and Nutrition recently conducted a survey for the Year 9 and 13 students to analyse their breakfast habits. 

The survey consisted of questions such as “How often do you eat breakfast?”, “Do your parents eat breakfast, if so, does this influence you?”, “Do your parents encourage you to eat breakfast?”, “If you don’t eat breakfast everyday, why not?”.

We were pleased to see that over half of each year group consumed breakfast everyday, with about 30% having it 4-6 days a week.

However, we also received some alarming results. We discovered that 8% of year 9 students never eat before school, which increased to 12% skipping breakfast in year 13.

[ Almost 15% of Year 13 students skip breakfast everyday ]

Students reported that they felt tired, agitated or struggled to concentrate in class when they skipped breakfast. Of course, we were curious as to why such a large percentage don’t make good nutritional choices. Over half said they’re constantly in a rush before school as they wake up too late and have no time.

Afterwards, our class researched the negative effects of making poor nutritional breakfast choices and the effects it had on students at school.

We’ve all heard of the phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, which we found to be very true. Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast”, giving you the nutrients to start your day and regulate your eating patterns. Not making healthy choices can have some detrimental effects on students. 

Some of these include:

-Struggling to concentrate in class

- Feeling tired and sleepy

- Can lead to obesity, heart disease or diabetes in later life

- More likely to binge on unhealthy foods during the day

This is when you, the parent/caregiver, step in. Although high school students are independent enough to make their own breakfast choices, a positive influence is always helpful. Our survey results showed that students were more likely to eat breakfast if their parents did, with about 30% claiming that their parents are the reason they eat it at all. It is crucial that teenagers have a good influence upon them to help make healthy choices, showing that breakfast doesn’t have to be a chore and can be healthy yet tasty. This also means making sure the foods you are buying for the pantry are nutritious, look out for the Heart Foundation red tick and always check the ingredients list.

[ Eating a healthy breakfast enhances academic performance ]

Our survey results showed that the main reason students don’t eat breakfast is because they don’t have the time or are constantly late. Encouraging your teenagers to wake up just 10 minutes earlier can be all it takes for them to fit in breakfast before school.

Our class is also doing our part help promote nutritional breakfast choices. We will be serving a selection of healthy breakfast foods during interval for the year 13 students to show that breakfast can be super tasty, simple and healthy! We will be offering foods such as muesli, fruit kebabs and banana bread.

So, if you want your teenagers to:

  • Improve their concentration and performance in class

  • Have the energy and nutrients to start their day

  • Maintain a healthy body throughout their life

  • Reduce the chance of heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity

  • Engage in physical activity