This is how much a diet can influence your child’s school performance

2019-02-21 14:51
What your child eats can have a significant effect on their learning capabilities.

What your child eats can have a significant effect on their learning capabilities.

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In 2018, a group of economists from the University of California set out to determine whether healthier school lunches affect student achievement as measured by test scores. Their discovery: students at schools that have a healthier school-lunch programme perform better on state tests. 

Although this study was done in the US, the effects of nutrition on school performance are universal and can especially be considered in SA where 76,2% of learners attending public schools benefit from a school feeding programme.

“Education is a global equaliser, and nutrition is a key indicator for performance at school. Research shows that better nourished children do better at school,” says Marlinie Kotiah, Head of Corporate Affairs at Danone. Undernutrition remains a significant problem in South Africa, according to the 2018 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) report, and the impact of this is poorer cognition. 

So how does food affect our focus, and which should be included to assist optimal concentration? Here’s a breakdown of snacks that can be included in daily lunchboxes to enhance concentration, sustain energy and amplify your memory to make learning a piece of cake (which unfortunately didn’t make it onto our list):


By making small dietary and lifestyle changes, parents can potentially help their children learn. Some companies like Danone are acting on this research by challenging caregivers to make healthy choices when they buy and prepare food. “We challenge (caregivers) to pledge to adopt simple healthy changes and show their commitment by signing the #MillionMoms Pledge,” says Kotiah.

The #MillionMoms Pledge is simple and requires parents to let their kids take these 5 actions: 

  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit every day. 
  • Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day. 
  • Drink more water every day. 
  • Move more every day.

This post is sponsored by Danone produced by BrandStudio24 for News24. 


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