HomeeducationAre meal frequency and mental performance connected?

Like many kids today, I got up way too early, choked down breakfast, stumbled through the morning, rushed through lunch and struggled through the rest of the day when I was still in school.

That root beer float TOTALLY counted
as dairy, right? You wouldn’t think it would go
as well with the veggies as it did.

I didn’t struggle to eat breakfast because of food quality. It was because my digestive system has never agreed with food before 8:00 or 9:00. By then, I was in class, and not allowed to eat until lunch period rolled around four or five hours later, depending on my schedule that year. Unless I had a snack with me for after lunch, there was little to no opportunity to eat until I got home.

Thinking back, those rough mornings and too short lunch periods may have contributed to my academic struggles.
Now that I have a more flexible schedule, I can eat when I need to. Generally, that means breakfast around 8:00 or 9:00, lunch around 1:00 or 2:00, and dinner whenever my husband gets home. Depending on my physical activity levels and time of the month, I’d probably have a few snacks here or there. Basically, I eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m not anymore.
Bear in mind, I also have a very fast metabolism. When I run errands, I usually do them on foot, and I exercise on a fairly regular basis. My eating habits work for me, but they wouldn’t for everyone.
Mentally, I’m clearer now than I was in my younger years. Although I do a pretty large amount of reading and writing, the weaknesses my dyslexia gives me aren’t as bad as they were back then.
I realize my body was undergoing the changes associated with growth in my primary school years, and I was caught up in the social miasma that was childhood/teenhood, but I wonder just how much those eating time restrictions affected my academics.
When I tried finding information about how eating frequency and learning are related, I found next to nothing. In the field of learning disabilities, all that I could find was that what we eat can have an impact on how well we do. Apparently Omega fatty acids and iron are important. Hello, common knowledge!
The only topics covered when it came to eating frequency were things like obesity, diabetes, cancer and eating disorders. These things are all important, but not relevant to what I was curious about.
Caged vending machines in California.
© BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons/
CC BY 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0, GNUFDL

Then I stumbled upon the idea of venting machines in schools.

It seems most of these machines offer junk food, though there are some that have begun offering healthier options, like pre-packaged fruit.
Then there’s the one selling Adderall in Syracuse University, which seems like an all around bad idea to me. (You can read about it here.)
So far, it looks like the vending machine idea is only a good one when they supply only healthy foods. People tend to choose unhealthy snacks over healthier ones when given the choice, and kids are no different.
There was at least one study done in the UK that showed kids who were only given healthier food choices did better in school. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Still, I found nothing about eating frequency in relation to academic performance. I don’t know if that will ever be seriously researched, but my superpower, Common Sense, says it’d probably be a good topic to look into.
For now? The question remains without a solid answer. Whether or not studies are conducted, though, I intend to keep listening to my body, and striving for a balanced lifestyle.

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