The connection between proper nutrition and the optimal functioning of the brain is supported by various research and experiments. In a report by the No Kid Hungry organization in 2015, 75% of educators noticed a significant performance difference between the students who eat breakfast from those that don’t.
An alert mind is crucial for learning, especially for young school kids. When the child does not get sufficient nutrition through her daily meals, malnutrition sets in, affecting the brain and the ability to grasp information. This is why it is important to start the day with a proper breakfast.
For this reason, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro launched a citywide Nutribun Program yesterday, October 16, 2019, at the Parang Elementary School. On the first day of the 120-day program, about 1,000 kinder and elementary students were given bread and milk.
“We give them the nutribun and milk at 7 a.m. because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some students don’t get to eat breakfast before going to school,” Marciana de Guzman, principal of the Parang Elementary School said. She noted that of the 4,000 enrolled students in their school, around 600 were malnourished.
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Nutribuns are breads fortified with nutrients. When they were first introduced in the Philippines in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, the ingredients included whole wheat flour, yeast, and non-fat dried milk powder. For this initiative by the Marikina local government, they are able to add local ingredients like malunggay and squash into the mix because the school has its own bakery that makes the bread.
Says Mayor Teodoro, “After 120 days of giving them fortified bread and milk, we will check their grades if they improved. Many studies have shown that proper nutrition improves their performance in school. It is very important for growing children.” Around 21,000 public school students are expected to benefit from this program.