Why are students tired, grumpy and out-of-focus in class? Here is why. A healthy diet plays a big role in how healthy, active and present students are in class and outside in the real world (Angela, 2017, p.1). Healthy eating habits must start at a young age and school is exactly where to start as children spend most of their growing lives there. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for schools to provide students with healthier school lunch options. Students need to be consistently eating healthy lunches for their ever-growing body and mind. Many research and studies have shown a vast difference between children that consume nutritious lunch on a regular basis from those that do not. By providing healthy lunches, it will be easier for all children to reach the required nutrition value for their ever-changing body (Campbellsville University, 2016, p.1). For this reason, there must be options for healthier food in school cafeterias. Even though serving pre-prepared and highly processed foods are more cost-effective, it is not suitable for students. Schools should be spending a little more money on lunches to provide students with all the nutrients they need, many of which can be found in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, schools should serve a well-balanced, nutritious diet so students can reach their full academic potentials, and improve their physical and mental health.
Many students want to achieve higher academic achievements in school, both for self-advancement in life and to please parents. One may think that; how smart a student is solely depends on whether they study or not and genetics. One often forgets how healthy eating habits and diets have a tremendous impact on students, academically. Many types of research have been done to determine whether healthy lunch actually makes a difference in a student’s life and many have proven that it does. According to a scientific research done by Campbellsville’s university, students who eat healthy meals perform better at school academically and physically (Campbellsville University, 2016, p.1). If schools provide a well-balanced food option, students have a higher chance of meeting the appropriate nutritional value needed by their ever-growing bodies. Healthy lunch will also allow their brains and bodies to grow to its full potential and keep their minds sharp and ready to learn (Campbellsville University, 2016, p.1). This will help them perform better on school materials because they will be able to concentrate during class and partake in class discussions, which results in better understanding of lessons (Schuna, 2017, p.1). This bettering understanding of class materials is reflected in their tests and assignment results. Statistics show that on average students who eat healthy scores 4 percentile points higher on tests (Anderson, 2017, para.6), and a total test score increase of 40% higher (Anderson, 2017, para.6). Therefore, it is important that students have access to healthy lunches in school and it is mandatory for their success, academically.
Many times, it is often forgotten how important a child’s physical health is from an early age, starting from when they are in school and are capable of picking and choosing what to eat and what not to. A child’s physical health cannot be altered merely by exercises. In order for one to be healthy and strong, it must start with a healthy diet. Many schools provide food that is high in fat, sugar, and sodium, all because it is easy to make or they come pre-made and are microwavable. These kinds of foods, often times lead to chronic health problems such as obesity (Schuna, 2017, p.1). Research also shows that 1 in 3 children are obese (Angela, 2017, p.1), which is a result of bad diets. One may say that healthier food options are expensive and time-consuming, therefore it is best to keep students fed within the school’s budget. However, it is also critical to take into consideration of the consequences of such actions. It may be more cost-effective and less time-consuming to serve pizza or microwavable food, but that comes at a price as unhealthy food consumptions lead to many health-related issues. Students consuming such foods are more susceptible to health-related issues at a young age and leading into their adult lives. Healthy lunches will teach kids and students lifelong healthy eating habits, which is also what schools should teach as school is about teaching. It is also proven that kids who eat healthily will also have the strength and stamina to perform extracurricular activities. Healthy food limits them from feeling fatigue, weak or nauseous during fitness and sports activities (Schuna, 2017, p.1). Therefore, schools should help children with their physical health by providing healthier school lunches.
In order for students to do well in school and overall in their life, they must have good mental and emotional health. One may ask, how do healthy lunches have an effect on one’s mental and emotional health? Studies have shown that almost two-third of people that eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables do not report mental health problems (Mental Health Foundation, n.d., p.1). This shows the impact of nutritional diet on one’s mental health. A well balanced and healthy food gives students longer lasting energy and also helps them reduce aggressions and maintain their psychosocial well-being. But if children continuously consumed unhealthy diet, this can lead to lower brain power and memory loss and also affect a child’s sleeping pattern (The Lunch Mob, n.d., p.1). This then results in undisciplined behavior in and outside of school. It affects students negatively on their daily performances and has been proven that nutritional deficiencies can affect the cognitive development of children (Campbellsville University, 2016, p.1). Therefore, it is important for children to have nutritious lunch filled with the nutritional value needed for their body, for them to maintain a composed mental health.
In conclusion, schools can make a difference in the life and overall health of a child by offering a well-balanced and healthy food. The switch to healthy foods in school cafeterias will have many positive impacts outweighing the negative impacts of unhealthy foods. If schools continue to promote unhealthy eating habits by not providing healthier alternatives for students, they are not allowing children to learn and start a healthy life, as school is where kids spent most their times. Even though a junk meal a day or two may not have a bad impact on children, but consuming such meals for years upon years can take a huge toll on the mental and physical health of a child. Therefore, in order for students to reach their full academic potentials, maintain and improve their physical and mental health, it is crucial that school serves healthy food in their cafeterias. Although unhealthy food may be affordable and less time consuming to prepare, is it not worth spending more for the better health and better education of a child? After all, children are the future.