Breakfast an important meal: survey

Many favour offering school breakfast programs funded by parents

a room of schoolchildren

Most Manitobans start their day with a morning meal, and most favour schools offering students the same option.

Those observations come from the latest summary reports released this month by the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel (MCMFP), an ongoing study of consumer opinion and behaviour in Manitoba.

The MCMFP began in February 2011, posing questions to registered panellists across the province through online or mailed-in surveys.

Four thousand Manitobans ages 18 and up and equally divided between Winnipeg and the rest of the province now regularly respond to a variety of surveys. Others have explored topics such as how Manitobans define ‘local’ food, their shopping habits at farmers’ markets, perceptions of food safety risk, and knowledge and interest in purchasing grass-fed beef.

‘What’s in Your Bowl?’ is the latest series of questions posed with 70 per cent saying they eat breakfast every day, seven days a week. Those who don’t, cited having no time, or no food in the house for it.

Panellists were also asked about offering breakfast programs in schools. Seventy per cent said these programs should be available in elementary schools, and over half thought they were also a good idea in the higher grades. The majority said school breakfast programs should be supported by parents with about 20 per cent saying the federal and provincial governments should also provide support.

Other questions posed in this survey explored how well Manitobans understand the relationship between food and chronic diseases. Most say food is integral to maintaining good health.

Their intent with this research is to produce descriptive data about people’s opinions, preferences and experiences with food, with the results helping to both inform policy-making as well as further research in food product development.

This latest survey was part of ongoing work by researchers looking at the Canadian Climate Advantaged Diet.

All consumer food monitor data is publicly available and posted online at www.mcmfoodpanel.ca.

The MCMFP is a faculty of human ecology project with funding provided by Growing Forward 2. Survey questions are developed by a joint steering committee with representatives from the University of Manitoba and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD).

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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