Good Food shines a light on morning routines to youth in the Eastside Afterschool Program, helping youth get a healthier start to their day.
Breakfast is key for achieving success in school, work and physical activity by improving brain function and energy levels. Practising a routine every morning teaches youth self discipline, improves confidence and most importantly nourishes them.
Our program’s youth
In the Eastside Afterschool Program,
- 73% eat breakfast 3-5 times a week.
- 20% of youth’s parents prepare breakfast for them.
- 60% have the groceries needed to eat breakfast.
- 20% rely on breakfast programs
- 27% never eat breakfast.
Healthy breakfast foods
We frequently stock the food pantry which youth have unlimited access to.
We asked the youth what they like to eat for breakfast. They stated foods including recipes from previous nutrition sessions and options we frequently provide.
- Smoothies with juice or almond milk
- Granola bars
- Yogurt+ granola
- Chocolate chia pudding
- High fibre cereals
- Whole wheat toast
- Eggs + veggie omelet
- Green tea or hot lemon water instead of coffee
Greene tea is high in antioxidants, improves brain function and helps the metabolism. It also lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Hot lemon water provides high levels of vitamin C helping the immune system. Drinking it on an empty stomach improves digestion by stimulating the intestines. Also stimulating the liver which helps to remove toxins from their body.
If you’re fighting off a sickness add some fresh ginger to give your immune system an extra kick.
Note: use a metal straw while drinking lemon water to avoid decalcification of the teeth.
Morning routine tips
We opened up the discussion to help youth achieve success in their goals.
- Think about 5 things your grateful for. Focusing on gratitude sets your perspective to a positive one.
- Practise meditaion and mindfulness instead of going on your phone first thing.(40% of our youth go on their phone first thing in the morning.)
- Make your bed and start the day off with a sense of accomplishment.
- Stretch or do yoga to naturally wake up your body and mind. Physical activity is a stronger stimulant than caffeine and decreases anxiety.
- Run or bike to school.
The best morning routine is dependant on the individual. When you’ve found one that works for you make it a goal to practise it 2-3 times a week for starters.
An article by The Georgia Straight states that 20% of youth in Canada are at risk of going to school hungry. In the Indigenous community, 50% of youth go to school hungry every day. Educators hosted a study on the importance of breakfast and 95% of teachers stated that students who did not have breakfast engage less and perform worse in school.
Good food for All provides healthy breakfast options for the youth to make at home. Including vegan, gluten and dairy free options. Our snacks always include a take home item typically fruit, granola bars and yogurt.
Breakfast and snack programs supplied by Vancouver School Board and Breakfast Club of Canada provide cereal, toast, begals, juice and occasionally fruit, pancakes and sandwiches. Youth noticed no vegan, gluten or dairy free options are provided at these programs except the occasional side of fruit.
Good food for all AND FOREVER
We’ve recognized the need of long term healthy eating habits for the youth in our programs. We strive to educate and reinforce the habits that will last them a lifetime.
Donate to help youth develop healthy habits.