BREAKFAST — It’s a Daily Necessity for Our Kids!!!!

We hear too often that a student doesn’t have time for breakfast.  Then later in the morning he or she can’t figure out why they can’t concentrate at school, have so little energy, or even have a headache.   Come on – get real!!!  Studies regarding an AM meal have proven that breakfast, especially breakfast at school, may very well be one of the most important tools for helping kids improve their health, their grades, and their behavior. It can also help them reach their greatest potential!

Here are just 2 studies to help back up the significance of breakfast for students:

1)    Minnesota’s FAST BREAK TO LEARNING BREAKFAST PROGRAM:  breakfast was offered to all kids in some schools, at little or no cost, and often served after school started, either in classrooms or in the cafeteria.  On 3 out of 4 reading and math tests on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Test (MCAT), 3rd and 5th graders improved academically more than the control group of schools (breakfast not offered to all) and 97% of the principals said their schools benefitted from the program (decreased tardiness and unruly behavior, etc.). 

2)   New York’s ACADEMICS & BREAKFAST CONNECTION Pilot: free breakfast in the classroom was offered to all students.  Participation doubled from 23 to 58%, tardiness decreased from 3 to 2.6 days/student/year, 100% of the principals felt the pilot added to the education process and 79% of the teachers supported continuation of the program.

The National Dairy Council (NDC) has developed and its affiliated state/regional dairy council units throughout the country have helped initiate a program called, Expanding Breakfast, where different early morning food options can be offered at schools outside of the cafeteria.  Included are: Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab n’ Go Breakfast, Breakfast after First Period, and other options.  State and regional units have offered grants to schools that want to try Expanding Breakfast and the results have all been positive.  Test scores have improved, behavior problems have lessened and kids seem more healthy and energetic. 

So, let’s make sure our kids get breakfast either at home or in school.  Simple meal ideas include:

  • Yogurt parfaits (vanilla non-fat yogurt, topped with diced fruit & low-fat granola) along with milk and/or 100% fruit juice.
  • ½ toasted whole wheat bagel topped with PB&J and served with milk.
  • Burritos stuffed with scrambled egg and bacon or sausage bits and green pepper pieces serve with chocolate milk.
  • Toasted waffle topped with low-fat cream cheese, fresh fruit bits, & reduced-sugar syrup. Finish it off with icy cold strawberry milk
  • Slice of left-over pizza from the eve before along with a glass of 100% fruit juice.
  • Whole grain granola bar served with white or chocolate milk.

 

There are endless ideas for healthy meals to help our kids start their school days off on the right foot.  Make sure your kids get the benefit of the best start to their days—via breakfast—whether at home or at school and watch their grades improve and behavior issues become a thing of the past!!!!