This week, March 2-6, is National School Breakfast Week, where we celebrate school breakfast with the ultimate goal of increasing student school breakfast participation. It’s really a simple idea, but one that can have a profound effect on a student’s academic performance.
Recent studies show these academic benefits to breakfast consumption:
- Children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home.
- Providing breakfast to students at school improves their concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory, and learning.
- Participating in school breakfast is associated with improved math grades, attendance and punctuality.
- Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, and standardized achievement test scores, as well as decreased tardiness.
(FRAC, Breakfast for Learning 2014)
The great news is, that there are numerous programs out there (with grant dollars attached) to help your school increase breakfast participation and as a result, ensure your students are healthy and ready to learn.
Two of my personal favorites are:
Action for Healthy Kids – School Grants for Healthy Kids – Grants, resources, and ideas for school breakfast expansion. 2015-2016 school year grants actually open this week!
Fuel Up to Play 60 – Healthy eating and physical activity grants, resources, and student led programming for use within your school.
As a mom, I’m always pushing breakfast on my kids. I hate the idea of them trying to learn while their little tummies are growling because they’re hungry. I must admit that often (okay, almost always) we’re running late, so many of our breakfasts are eaten in the car. I’m constantly trying to think of quick, easy, nutritious, and not-so-messy breakfasts my kids will happily eat on the ride to school in the morning. We do the normal breakfast foods but have found that lunch and dinner items for breakfast are also kid-approved in my house. Remember, you don’t have to feed your child a typical breakfast food for them to start their day off right, it’s all about filling their tummies with a nutritious and well-balanced meal that will keep them going until lunch.
Lastly, if you haven’t checked out your school breakfast, I encourage you to go have a breakfast date with your child. Eat in the cafeteria, experience the atmosphere, their friends, the food, and more. Learn about your school’s breakfast program and what you might be able to do to help it reach the next level.
Happy National School Breakfast Week!
Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.