1 in 3 primary school kids skips breakfast once a week: Survey

PHOTO: 1 in 3 primary school kids skips breakfast once a week: Survey

SINGAPORE - One in three primary school children skip breakfast at least once a week, a survey has revealed.

Almost half of the 363 parents surveyed said there is "not enough time for the child to eat".

Another 28 per cent said their kids did not like eating breakfast while 15 per cent said they did not have enough time to prepare it.

Four communication studies students from Nanyang Technological University conducted the survey last August as part of their final-year project.

Their findings spurred them on to organise the Rise & Shine Breakfast Campaign and since last December, they have been going to public venues to spread the message that having a healthy breakfast daily helps youngsters to be happier and perform better in academic tests.

Besides going to libraries and shopping malls, the group has visited St Hilda's Primary and Cantonment Primary earlier this month. Members plan to go to three more schools.

They perform skits and weave nuggets of breakfast information into the storyline to "keep children interested and excited", said Miss Quek Hui Ying, 22, who is joined by Miss Low Hee Ann, also 22, and Mr Wilson Ng and Mr Tan Wei Yuan, both 24.

Dietitian Ro Ann Tiara Gonzales Ilao, a lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic's School of Chemical and Life Sciences, said: "Eating habits start from young and will affect their overall health. That is why the campaign is targeting right where and when good eating habits should be instilled."

The Filipino lecturer answers questions related to children's nutrition on the group's campaign website at breakfast.riseandshine-expo.com.

It also features tips from actor Adrian Pang and former TV actress Evelyn Tan as well as healthy breakfast recipes, categorised according to the amount of preparation time required.

Examples of the recipes include eggs in toast and pandan waffles.

The team will also be holding a cooking demonstration today at Choa Chu Kang Public Library at 3.30pm.

Together with a group of mothers who will be organising a separate event called the Rise & Shine Expo in September, the team will hold a breakfast carnival on March 3 at Marina Bay.

They aim to break into the Singapore Book of Records for the largest turnout for a breakfast picnic.


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.