Save the Children - Food for Thought


It isn't often that I stray from the regular format of my blog, but after receiving a request from Save the Children about a children's literacy crisis I thought this was a good opportunity to speak about something that I feel quite passionate about.

We are very fortunate to be able to feed ourselves and Ethan healthy meals and snacks everyday and provide him with countless toys and books to play with and learn from.  (I had a quick count, and at 19 months old Ethan already has over 100 books).  But unfortunately everyone else isn't so lucky.

The facts of the Food for Thought report are shocking.  Malnourished children are 20% less able to read and a quarter of the world's children are chronically malnourished, which is causing a global reading crisis.

As a teacher I saw everyday the difference it made when children had a good breakfast before they came to school.  Again we were very lucky because the schools that I taught at all offered breakfast clubs, free milk and/or free fruit as snacks for all of the children (as well as free school meals to those who required them).  Children who ate a good breakfast were able to concentrate better in class and performed better on assignments.  The fact that studies have been done to prove this are not a surprise to me, but the actual statistics are shocking.  We need to do something to help these children, to give them the opportunity to better their lives.

The Food for Thought report is broken up into different sections, as an educator I found the 'Early Nutrition, Cognitive Development and Education' part fascinating.  The fact that children's brains continue to develop until they are 2 years old and are affected so greatly by individual nutrients in their diets is astounding.  And that their underdeveloped brains can actually regrow when a proper diet is introduced is extremely uplifting.  You can also read about the economic impact of malnutrition and how interventions can make a difference.

If we all think about the happiness and knowledge that reading has brought into our lives, we realise how much of an impact literacy has on us everyday.  Please comment below with your favourite book and your child's favourite book (or your favourite book as a child). And if you've been moved by these statistics then please read the Food for Thought reportsign the petition for world leaders to address these issues at the upcoming G8 summit and look into other ways to help.

My favourite book is just too difficult to choose (which just one shows how lucky I truly am!)
My favourite book as a child was: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss
Ethan's current favourite book is: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

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  1. Thank you for posting this on behalf of myself and Save the Children.
    It is great to have a teacher's perspective on the matter.


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