PICTURED ABOVE // Some of the most popular Upper School advisory foods.
Mountains of calorie-packed bags of chips, dozens of glossy plastic cookie containers and several large sacks of popcorn, for breakfast? In a survey sent out by the The Fourcast, about 63 percent of Hockaday students reported that they skip breakfast and eat in advisory. But just how healthy is advisory food?
Cookies, popcorn, chips and Goldfish are among the many popular advisory foods. However, these snacks provide little nutritional value. Foods that contain mostly sugar, carbs or powder flavorings are inconceivably popular in Upper School advisories, whereas important nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and healthy fats are lacking in most advisories.
Despite the fact that junk food is popular, it is often more convenient for students or advisors to buy unhealthy foods because it is cheaper and easier to find at grocery stores.
If over half of the Upper School students at Hockaday have skipped breakfast and alternatively eaten in advisory, one would suppose that advisories buy breakfast food. However, Upper School students answered that granola bars and cereal are two of the least popular advisory foods.
Not only are advisory foods unhealthy, skipping breakfast and eating in advisory can have many negative effects on a student’s school day that they were not aware of. One of the most substantial effects is that skipping breakfast causes a decline in energy level. This could result in insufficient performance levels in morning classes and potentially throughout the day.
Most Hockaday students skip breakfast because they lack time in the morning to eat. Some students, like sophomore Danya Evans, spend their time sleeping in later or completing unfinished homework.
“I wake up at 8:20 and I don’t have time to get breakfast because of the workload at school, it’s really difficult to balance,” Evans, a boarder, said.
Even if Hockaday students are eating breakfast they will most likely go to advisory and consume a high amount of calories and junk food. 34 percent of Hockaday students said that their advisory food is never healthy and 96 percent of Hockaday students said that their advisory food is most likely unhealthy.
In a recent effort to accommodate food allergies in advisories, there has been an decrease in the amount of junk food consumed. In order to provide adequate choices for those who need vegan, vegetarian, gluten free food and those who are lactose intolerant or have nut allergies, some students and teachers have started to bring in healthier choices to advisories. As a result of food allergies, students have had to change some of what they eat during advisory to accommodate their peers’ intolerance to certain foods.
“The girls in my advisory are very considerate of my allergy, and make sure to not bring anything that has nuts in it to school,” said Leena Mehendale, a freshman at Hockaday with an allergy to nuts.
Some advisors, like Form II Dean Jordan Innerarity, have attempted to make their own food for their advisories to solve the issue of unhealthy advisory foods. In addition, Hockaday continues to expand the students knowledge of nutrition by incorporating lessons on balanced meals into health classes. The Health Center staff also advise students to eat regular meals.
“Especially this year as Form Dean, I’ve walked around and seen other advisories, and I would say it is probably true that many girls eat their breakfast in advisory. Every now and then I would make pancakes for my advisory, so that was something close to a well balanced breakfast,” Innerarity said.
Story by Erin Parolisi