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Schools are in the business of education. And because students spend more than 1,200 hours in school a year, they are also in the business of feeding children. Some may wonder why schools worry about the feeding of children at school. But only half of all students that qualify for free and reduced-price meals actually participate in school breakfast, which means that about 11 million students are starting their school day hungry.
Hungry students can’t learn. Period. Teachers have shared that hungry students in their classrooms are unable to concentrate, tired, experience behavior problems, perform poorly academically, and often feel sick.
There are many reasons a child might start the day without a healthy breakfast, from budgets to busy families and students who don’t like to eat early in the mornings. When it comes to school breakfast, we’ve learned that if you build it, they will come. Alternative breakfast models are proving very successful in making school breakfast more accessible to hungry students. These include:
Breakfast in the Classroom: Breakfasts are delivered to students in insulated bags or coolers to the classroom, where students eat breakfast. Students can even help deliver breakfasts. This model maximizes classroom time and helps to foster a sense of community within the classroom. This is especially effective in schools where breakfast is served at no cost to all students.
Grab and Go: Breakfasts are picked up from a mobile kiosk or cart situated in high traffic areas, often where students enter the building. Students either pick up a pre-bagged breakfast or choose breakfast options and carry them to the classroom.
Second Chance Breakfast: Breakfast is served from carts or from the cafeteria in between periods after the first bell, giving students a second chance to start the day right!
How you can help boost school breakfast
Find out what type of breakfast your school serves.
Join your child for breakfast one morning.
Discuss breakfast and its benefits with your school health team, administrator, cafeteria manager or teacher.
Understand the various models and discover what might work best at your school.
Learn more about school breakfast at ActionforHealthyKids.org.
Whether you want to get kids moving in the classroom or find ways to create healthier school parties and fundraisers, look no further than our Hot Topics. Inspiration and new ideas await you!