Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days
Over the past few years, since I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, my life has really come to revolve quite a lot around food. I inevitably end up spending a fair amount of time thinking about what I’m eating, when I’m eating it, what’s in it, and when my next meal or snack will be. It’s an inevitable aspect of the illness I guess – you’ve gotta be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Before, I think I was pretty ridiculous about drinking intense energy drinks for breakfast all the time and stuffing chocolate in my face for breakfast. Nowadays, I obviously can’t do that, and the importance of having a good breakfast has never been more important. If I don’t eat something, my sugars can drop and things go downhill pretty quickly. But I’m lucky – there’s always loads of food in my fridge and my pantry, there’s even stuff to eat at work. So when Kellogg’s asked me to take part in their Breakfast for Better Days challenge, I was interested to see how I’d handle it. (Don’t worry, I watched my sugars very carefully throughout, I’m not an idiot.)
In South Africa, almost one in every five children go without breakfast. Here I am obsessing over what I’m gonna order from Vida, and 20% of the kids in our country don’t even get breakfast. To push us to experience what this might be like (cause, let’s face it, we can’t actually KNOW what it’s like) we were challenged to go without breakfast for a day. Imagine that you have a small dinner, and then you’re expected to get through a morning of learning with nothing in your belly until lunch. Guys, I’ve got to be honest, as someone who relies on food, it was hard. Loads harder than I’d expected. I needed my morning coffee and nutrition to get my brain cogs moving. I was pretty hangry.
Knowing how important breakfast is in getting things going, Kellogg’s heads up a really incredible project called Breakfast for Better Day. Through this, they provide 25 000 kids across South Africa with breakfast every day at school. Since the project started, they’ve seen huge improvements in the health, performance, and concentration of these kids, and even attendance – they found that kids were far more likely to come to school on time (or at all) when they knew they’d be getting a meal when they arrived.
It’s a beautiful thing to see. I know this because we got to go along to Duduza Primary School to have breakfast with some of the kids that are part of the project. Guys, you have never seen anyone more excited about cereal, and that’s saying something because my brother Chris has eaten cereal for every single meal for the past 28 years. I was paired with a Grade 1 class and getting to sit and eat my morning Cornflakes with them was both touching and inspiring. I loved it.
It’s good to remind ourselves of just how much is going on in the world, and also of the good projects that are being undertaken to help people out. Since it began in 2014, the Kellogg’s initiative has served more than 13 million breakfasts to learners every school day at 43 schools across Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Eastern and Western Cape provinces – how great is that?! So, for every box of cereal you buy, you’re helping to feed a South African school child.
Thanks Kellogg’s for letting me be part of this amazing project during Breakfast Month and for taking us along to Duduza to meet the fantastic staff and incredible kids there – it was unspeakably special. If you’re interested in helping out Duduza, I’ll be collecting books to help build their library – let me know if you wanna get involved!