No Child Should Go Hungry! British Nutrition Foundation & Magic Breakfast partner

The British Nutrition Foundation, a leading nutrition charity, and Magic Breakfast, a charity that is working to ensure hunger isn’t a barrier to learning for school children across the UK, have joined forces to raise awareness of the vital role of a nutritious breakfast in children’s health and wellbeing. With aligned views on the importance of diet and nutrition for children’s development, and a shared commitment to reducing child hunger, the partnership will explore the link between breakfast consumption and health in children and young people.

London, May 2023 – The partnership is particularly important as poor nutrition during childhood can increase the risk of developing both short- and long-term health problems. This is why schools are an essential setting for promoting healthy behaviours and providing meaningful opportunities for establishing healthier diets, including access to nutritious foods at mealtimes such as breakfast.

Research shows that breakfast can have a significant impact on children’s learning, with hunger interfering with attendance and behaviour in class. Worryingly, three million children risk starting the school day hungry[1], highlighting the urgent need to address child hunger and the importance of diet inadequacy.

As part of the partnership, nutrition scientists from the British Nutrition Foundation will undertake and publish a narrative review, which will explore the scientific evidence examining breakfast intake in school aged children and how this impacts their nutrient intakes, health outcomes and performance and attainment at school. The review will also consider outcomes in children living in low-income households, as they are often the most vulnerable to food insecurity and poor nutrition. The British Nutrition Foundation will also host a roundtable event with key stakeholders, including multidisciplinary expert representatives, to discuss the findings and implications of the review paper.

Commenting on the announcement, Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of the British Nutrition Foundation said, 

As a nutrition charity, we are acutely aware of the impact a healthy diet can have on children’s health and wellbeing, and the challenges that many families currently face in being able to provide the food their children need. We are delighted to partner with Magic Breakfast to look at the science behind breakfast and children’s health and how we can use this to make a real difference to children’s lives.

Lindsey MacDonald, Chief Executive of Magic Breakfast, added, 

Going to school hungry not only hinders children’s learning, it can also have serious long-term consequences on their health and development. We passionately believe that no child or young person should go hungry, and that a healthy and nutritious breakfast is a proven way to fuel learning and every child’s potential. This has never been more vital as the number of children struggling in the UK has more than doubled in the past year. Partnering with the British Nutrition Foundation, we are looking forward to building on the work we do at Magic Breakfast and deepening our understanding of the impact that breakfast can have on the lives of children.

The project being conducted as part of the partnership is supported with an educational grant from Arla, Heinz and Quaker, and comes at a particularly timely moment considering the cost-of-living crisis and the growing impact of food insecurity and poverty on children’s nutritional vulnerability. By working together, the British Nutrition Foundation and Magic Breakfast hope to further develop a robust evidence base to support policy, make a real difference to the lives of children and reduce the impact of poverty on their health and wellbeing.

[1] Magic Breakfast’s Hunger Report https://www.magicbreakfast.com/news/hidden-hunger-report-findings

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