Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Real Hunger Games- Kellogg's Breakfast For Better Days Challenge

A week ago, I received an unexpected package at my doorstep- a hamper with some delicious Kellogg's cereal and an invitation to take part in a very exciting challenge- GO WITHOUT BREAKFAST.

For me, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I love food, so this was going to be tough. Nevertheless, the challenge was gladly accepted.

Why? This is all part of the Kellogg's Breakfast For Better DaysChallenge. You see, in South Africa, almost one in five children go to school without breakfast, which of course impacts on their ability to learn. By taking part in this challenge, I was able to get a sense of what it is like to start the day without any form of sustenance. 

Kellogg's provides breakfast to children at schools around the country. With Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days™ Campaign, 25,000 of South Africa’s school children are receiving a balanced breakfast before school, every single school day and are providing five million servings of cereal and milk to South African school children by the end of 2016. For example, this morning, they were making a difference to children at Duduza Primary School. There were a few other bloggers who went to Duduza today and you will  no doubt get to read all about that experience on their blogs. 

While I was sadly unable to go along to  Duduza due to being in a workshop elsewhere today, I participated in the challenge remotely. For me, this meant waking up before 6 a.m, doing school drop offs, sitting in traffic for a (very) long time and then concentrating on lessons, all without having had any breakfast. In other words, sitting in a class, hungry,  which is a norm every single day for many South African children.

There is a video up on Instagram which I took while in traffic this morning (sadly, my mediocre video skills mean that part of my rambling got cut off- or perhaps I can blame my lack of breakfast for this one).

How do I feel without having had breakfast? Not great, I must admit. I have slight insulin resistance issues so if I do not eat frequently, I tend to feel dizzy, nauseous and my blood pressure tends to dip. I feel sweaty and unable to concentrate optimally. Then of course, after while of no eating, there are further unpleasant side effects like bad breath and physical weakness. 

Truth be told, going hungry is not an entirely new experience for me. Every year, in Ramadaan, I along with other Muslims around the world fast with zero food or drink from sunrise to sunset. There are many reasons for this fast but one is to allow the individual fasting to feel empathy for those who go without and thus be more compassionate in engaging in charitable causes- very similar to what Kellogg's is doing with the Breakfast For Better Days Challenge. I still vividly remember fasting at school growing up (once I was old enough to do so) and the growing inability to focus on lessons fully as the day progressed. The challenge of course, was different for me compared to an underprivileged school child- I always knew that there was a promise of good food later in the day, while for them, the reality of being hungry is an ongoing struggle. While today, I got a small taste of what it is like to be hungry, I cannot really say that I know what it feels like to be a starving child, forced to walk great distances to school (expending considerable energy in doing so) and then learn on an empty stomach. I truly wish I could do something to help every child out there who suffers this fate. 

How can you help? Simply by buying any marked pack of Kellogg's cereal, which we all love of course, you will be making a contribution towards breakfast for a child in need. You can also read more at

As for me, I still haven't had breakfast but I will have brunch in a little while when I have a break. I have one of those single serving sized bags of Kellogg's All Bran Flakes stashed in my handbag and  I must confess, it is totally calling my name.