Today’s Editorial September 1: Buy a kid breakfast

There’s something that is missing from the start of the day of many school children in the Cayman Islands – breakfast.

But one service club in Grand Cayman is making an effort to put an end to that trend.

The Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman, beginning tomorrow, will launch a new programme to ensure all children attending primary school receive breakfast, whether their parents or guardians can afford it or not.

Breakfast is an essential start to everyone’s day, especially children going to school.

Your brain and central nervous system run on glucose, the fuel you need to think, walk, talk, and carry on any and all activities.

Suppose the last time you ate was at dinner the night before and you choose to skip breakfast and opt for lunch as the next time to refuel.

Your poor brain is surely deprived and your body has to work extra hard to break down any stored carbohydrate or turn fat or protein into a usable form for your brain to function. That’s a lot to ask for when you’re sitting in a classroom, trying to concentrate on reading, or doing any other work.

Eating breakfast has been proven to improve concentration, problem solving ability, mental performance, memory, and mood. You will certainly be at a disadvantage if your classmates have eaten breakfast and you’ve gone without. On average, they will think faster and clearer, and will have better recall than you. School or work can be tough enough without this extra added pressure.

Breakfast skippers also have a harder time fitting important nutrients into their diet. Many foods eaten at breakfast contain significant amounts of vitamins C and D, calcium, iron, and fibre.

The great thing about the Kiwanis programme is that only the principal of the school will know which child is getting benefit of breakfast through the club.

In most cases the children affected will come from families where the income level is above the limit for assistance from Social Services but is insufficient to meet the cost of three meals a day. The easiest meal to skip is breakfast.

The Kiwanis Club is to be commended for seeing this desperate need and taking action, but they need our help.

Tomorrow the checkout staff at Foster’s supermarkets will ask you to donate your spare change to the Buy a Kid Breakfast programme. If you’ve got questions, Kiwanis members will be on hand to put your mind at ease.

Next week Subway will allow the public to make contributions to the programme through voucher donations. Other events are planned at Kirk Supermarket and other locations. You can find out about them through Kiwanis members or reading the Caymanian Compass.

Kiwanis is just one of the many service clubs in the Cayman Islands. The Buy a Kid Breakfast programme is indeed a great service.

Let’s all pitch in to make sure this effort is a success and no child goes without a good start with breakfast.