It has been recognised through research that people regularly need food and water to maintain high-level brain function. This has important implications for students in our schools. Research strongly advocates for students being able to nibble on brain food and drink water throughout the school day. “… brains run better on a “nibbling diet”. Nibblers were shown to have better cognitive efunctioning, fewer discipline problems, lower cortisol levels, better glucose tolerance and better maintained insulin levels. Some schools have reported significant drops in behaviour problems and increased learning performance since making nibbling food available at various times of the day.”(John Joseph – Focus Education “Food for Thought: The Critical Foundation for Brain Care”)
For a young developing brain the most important meal of the day is breakfast. The metabolic rate in the brain increases soon after the alertness chemicals move us out of sleep patterns and into daytime cycles. An increase in blood flow to the brain will ensure that nutrients are carried to the brain for conversion into chemicals. Brain cells require fuel (through glucose) to operate effectively, and water to keep them hydrated. Proteins also boost brain alertness while carbohydrates induce calmness or relaxation.
For many students, particularly during periods of growth, the wait until a break time can also cause a decrease in energy and brain function. The brain needs a regular supply of water to keep it in top working order.