World hunger is due to many causes, such as conflict, poverty, and the cost-of-living crisis. It is a growing issue around the world and affects all ages: babies, children, teenagers, adults, and older people.
Research shows that globally, 49 million people are at risk of hunger, and 1 in 10 people go to bed hungry every night. This is having severe effects on people, including children, as it means they are not eating well or getting nutrition.
Three billion people’s health is at risk since they can't afford healthy and nutritious meals. Ultimately, this can lead to health complications and illnesses.
Hunger at School
Specifically relating to children, 73 million children living in extreme poverty attend school with an empty stomach. This is a reason for poor concentration, low energy, and low mood, and leads to an overall negative learning experience for children.
Often, children who face malnutrition miss lots of school due to illness, and their education is compromised.
Improving the quality and variety of food for these children can directly help them to succeed in education.
Poverty and low income don’t just mean going to school on an empty stomach. Parents can’t afford their children's books or adequate equipment for school, such as pens, notebooks, and textbooks. While we see these as simple necessities for our children, there are many parents who face poverty and feel guilty about not being able to afford their children these items. This leads to a lack of engagement from children at school, bullying, and, usually, low grades.
Poor Brain Development
Children with malnutrition have poorer brain development than children who eat healthily and well. This can be seen in the comparison of head circumference sizes between children, which indicates brain size.
This can have a significant effect on school children and means the cycle and link between hunger and education may continue for generations.
Meat and dairy foods like milk and eggs are great for children’s development. They are high in protein, iron, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and omega 3. If a child is deficient in any of these, it can lead to poor cognitive development and, hence, poor academic ability.
Being healthy by eating the right foods means children attend school more often, have higher concentration levels, have a better mood to learn, and have improved brain development to help them retain knowledge.
Some of the best foods for children to eat to improve their concentration at school are:
- Fish like salmon and tuna
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Green vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, and spinach
Some of the best foods for children to eat for increased brain development are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Oatmeal and porridge
- Oily fish and other seafood
How You Can Help
By donating to Orphans in Need, you can provide food parcels for widows and orphans.
Costing just £35, our food parcels can feed a widowed family for a month and consist of flour, oil, lentils, rice, sugar, salt, clean water, and other essentials.
Online charity donations have never been easier; through a few clicks on your phone, you can help those most in need around the world, including orphans and children.