The most neglected meal of the day: Students prioritize schoolwork over morning meal, skip breakfast to sleep in
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You’ve heard the saying about breakfast. We’ve been fed the cliché since kindergarten.
Despite society’s emphasis on the importance of the first meal of the day, many still do not eat a “complete, balanced breakfast”. In fact, many teenagers skip breakfast altogether.
The reasoning many give for the lack of a morning meal?
“The majority of the time I don’t have the time to eat breakfast,” Coppell High School junior Ruqy Bankole said. “I wake up at 6 a.m. and the minute I wake up I have my bath, I get ready and once I’m done, I have extra time to study and sometimes I may not get done in time because I’m not the only child.”
Bankole is part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at CHS and lives with three younger family members who she has to make sure get ready for school and get to the bus on time every morning.
She is one example of students who do not eat breakfast because they say the do not have time to eat it, much less make it. In an already crowded schedule filled with hours of homework each night, many students sacrifice waking up earlier to eat a full breakfast before school in order to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep.
Teens stay up late finishing assignments and studying so naturally they stay in bed past their alarms in the morning to maximize their sleep time, which, for many, is short as it is. This makes students even more rushed in the mornings as they change, get ready for school and maybe even do some last minute studying.
“Usually I’m up at night because of homework and it’s hard for me to get up in the morning and get to school,” CHS junior Abby Hall said.
Apart from time, many students do not eat a morning meal simply because they are not hungry.
It is natural for the body to not feel hungry when it wakes up due to a the body’s natural circadian rhythms. This process is like a body clock that controls metabolism on a 24-hour basis and some people’s rhythm causes them to have a low appetite in the morning.
“[I don’t eat breakfast] every morning because it takes a while to eat breakfast and I’m not really that hungry in the morning,” CHS freshman Hannah Sigler said.
However, those who do not eat breakfast may feel hungry in their morning classes which can affect their concentration. Coppell ISD dietitian Alicia Braun encourages eating breakfast due to the health and performance benefits it can bring.
“It’s definitely beneficial because it gives you a boost of energy to start your day and helps mental performance,” Braun said. “Studies have shown it improves test scores and can help reduce obesity.”
A simple, on-the-go meal may be quick fix to this breakfast skipping epidemic as it can be prepared at home and taken to school to satisfy hunger until lunch.
Here is a simple to-go smoothie recipe for rushed mornings before school. With minimal preparation needed, they are easy to make and provide servings of fruit on the go.