School Breakfast – Helping Students Get Ready for Success
Health and Wellness
February 26, 2012
What has been proven to boost test scores and improve classroom behavior, while reducing tardiness and trips to the nurse’s office? School breakfast! Yet in the race to get to the head of the class, many students forget the importance of jump-starting their school days with a morning meal.
Every school day, breakfast programs across the country offer students the healthy foods, including fruits, whole-grain rich foods and low fat milk, they need to get set for a busy school day. Every school breakfast served must also meet federal nutrition standards limiting fat and portion size.
To ensure more students get the opportunity to eat breakfast, many schools are finding inventive ways to serve breakfast outside of the cafeteria. Many elementary schools offer breakfast in the classroom, allowing children to eat breakfast during morning announcements. Middle and High Schools are increasingly offering grab ‘n’ go breakfast options either before the first bell rings or during the first break between classes. These options are popular with teens that aren’t hungry first thing in the morning.
School Breakfast in Action
After learning that the high school students in her district weren’t arriving on campus in time for school breakfast, Pam Caldwell, school nutrition director for Lincoln (Ark.) Consolidated School District, worked with administrators to implement a hallway breakfast program called “Second Chance Breakfast.” “The administration was fantastic! The principals made extra time between 1st and 2nd period for our breakfast program. It is a great success,” she reported. Now, students have a Second Chance to pick up breakfast at a hallway kiosk offering hot and cold items such as cereal, sausage biscuits and yogurt.
Healthy school breakfasts can be a lifesaver for busy parents too. It’s a race for any family to get their kids ready, fed and out the door in time for school, and knowing that your child can eat a healthy breakfast after they get to school can be a huge relief for parents.
To highlight how eating a balanced breakfast at school can help students succeed, the School Nutrition Association has launched “School Breakfast – Go for Gold.” The campaign will be appearing in school cafeterias for National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9, 2012.
Cafeterias will celebrate school breakfast with special menus and decorations, fun puzzles and school breakfast related brainteasers to help students warm up their brains before they start class. Kids will also have the opportunity to create their own school breakfast t-shirt design highlighting the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. Many schools, including Shawnee Public Schools (Okla.), are aligning the “School Breakfast – Go for Gold” theme with their efforts to earn the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) Gold award.
Find out more about “School Breakfast – Go for Gold” atwww.schoolnutrition.org/NSBW.