Four in ten kids are more mischievous – if they skip breakfast before school

Four in ten kids say they’re more likely to be mischievous if they don’t eat breakfast before going to school, research has found. A poll of 600 children, aged 6-11, found 56 percent consider it to be the most important meal of the day. But without breakfast – or one which is insufficient – they’re not themselves.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they pay less attention to the teacher on days they don’t have a breakfast, while 42 percent feel more tired.

The research was commissioned by General Mills, which, in partnership with the Greggs Foundation, has funded more than 4.5 million breakfasts for kids, through its Breakfast Club programme.

A spokesman for the food manufacturer said: “It’s fascinating that children as young as six have such an awareness of how a lack of breakfast impacts them.

“Breakfast is a hugely important meal, not only for the nutrition and energy it gives through the day, but for how it can structure our mornings.

“Using breakfast as an anchor point can really help parents who can often struggle with the school run and making sure everyone is ready in the morning.”

More than one in three kids polled (36 percent) say not being hungry is the main reason they’re likely to miss the morning meal.

For 19 percent, it emerged the main reason kids go without first thing is due to lack of time, while 15 percent struggle to find things they enjoy to eat.

But four in ten (39 percent) admit to sometimes, or often, sneaking food from their lunchbox, because they didn’t eat enough at breakfast.

And kids say PE (58 percent), maths (48 percent), and English (32 percent) are the subjects they find harder if they haven’t breakfasted properly.

The research also polled the children’s parents, and found 54 percent said their children are grumpier if they haven’t had breakfast – while 14 percent think their kids forget things more easily.

And while almost all mums and dads (97 percent) encourage their child to eat breakfast every day, 45 percent complain their youngsters claim not to be hungry.

It also emerged 24 percent get frustrated when kids say they don’t want to eat the food that’s in the house, according to the figures.

General Mills’ spokesman added: “Breakfast isn’t just a meal, it’s a learning opportunity. When kids eat breakfast, they’re more likely to excel in the classroom, solve problems, and make friends.

“If you struggle to find breakfast foods your kids like, engage with them and work together to find solutions – breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal or toast, so use your imaginations.”

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