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School Breakfast: From Cafeteria to the Classroom and Beyond

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

School Breakfast: From Cafeteria to the Classroom and Beyond

A World of School Breakfasts: National School Breakfast Week March 5 – 9, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (February 26, 2007) –- School breakfast, traditionally served in the cafeteria, has expanded to the classroom and even to the hallways as schools strive to give students a nutritious start to the day.  With more than 9.6 million children participating in the School Breakfast Program every day, the most important meal of the day is increasingly being offered in schools. National School Breakfast Week, March 5–9, 2007, emphasizes the connection between eating breakfast and improved academic performance. Through the theme "A World of School Breakfasts", school communities nationwide will highlight what school children around the globe eat.

Today, school breakfast includes whole grains and fruits while meeting federal nutrition guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  School breakfasts are required to provide 25 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowances for protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and calories. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) 2006 Back to School Trend Survey found that 61% of school districts surveyed made significant efforts to offer healthy school breakfasts in the past two years, with an additional 28 percent making an effort to offer healthy breakfast choices.

Research shows that children who eat breakfast have improved memory, problem-solving skills, verbal fluency and creative abilities. According to data from the Bogalusa Heart Study, kids who skip breakfast rarely make up for the missed nutrients during the day. Qualitative research, including studies conducted by Harvard University and the University of Minnesota, also point to improved standardized test scores in children who ate a school breakfast.

The "A World of School Breakfasts" theme was created by SNA to encourage increased student participation with fun-filled cafeteria promotions and a sampling of international breakfast foods.  Activities nationwide planned for National School Breakfast Week include guest servers, decorated cafeterias and celebrations with the international theme. Special breakfast menus include Muesli from Australia and Congee from China. Resources to help plan special breakfast events in schools nationwide were made possible by SNA and General Mills and are available at www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw.

The School Nutrition Association launched NSBW in 1989 to raise awareness about the availability of breakfast for all students at school and to draw attention to the link between eating a good breakfast and cognitive growth. SNA is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe, healthful and nutritious meals. Founded sixty years ago SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.


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