Power Up with Breakfast for a Winning School Day

Healthy Food Choices in Schools March 31, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

cereal bowlDo you dream of a low cost, easy way to help students who struggle achieve academic success? One answer may be as close as the school cafeteria breakfast program.  

Students who eat breakfast at school show better attendance, less tardiness, and fewer visits to the school nurse. In addition to being in the classroom, students prove to be better learners if they eat breakfast. Because they are not hungry, they are more attentive to the teacher and stay on task.  Students who eat breakfast are also more cooperative and less likely to spend time in the principal’s office.  When students eat breakfast they have higher reading and math test scores.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be served within the walls of the school cafeteria. Schools that have seen improved student outcomes have also served breakfast in the classroom. This approach makes breakfast available to everyone. Teachers who have implemented breakfast in the classroom say they would be sad if it were stopped.  For more information on the program, visit this about Breakfast in the Classroom page.

School breakfast provides students with important foods needed for growth and learning. The meals consists of whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk and fruit. Low-fat proteins can be substituted for part of the grains.

What if students don’t like traditional breakfast foods? No problem!  There are many non-traditional choices beyond the cereal with milk and fruit staple. Schools can meet student preferences with sandwiches or wraps, yogurt, cheese, crackers and fruit, or low fat muffins.

Although the benefits of breakfast are often talked about, it remains the most commonly skipped meal for children and teens.  To gain more impactful minutes of instruction daily and give students an academic edge include breakfast as a top priority in your schools’ wellness program!

Read more about School Breakfast Programs and Successes HERE. 


Contributor

Liz Smith Ohio State University Extension

Sources

Children’s Hunger Alliance

Breakfast in the Classroom

United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: School Breakfast Program


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.