March Right Into the Latest Edition of School Nutrition!



When it first started as a pilot initiative in 1966, the School Breakfast Program fed 80,000 children. These days, a whopping 14.7 million students are eating school breakfast—but unfortunately that’s less than half of the students enjoying reimbursable school lunches. Whether it’s served in the classroom, before the bell or in between periods, breakfast programs help students: A child who eats breakfast is more likely to perform better at school and be more willing to participate in the classroom. Breakfast is a win-win for everyone! But school breakfast programs can contribute valuable educational experiences that go far beyond academics, advancing a student’s social and emotional learning (SEL).

So, what’s on the morning menu? Bagels, juices, pre-packaged breakfast entrée and snack items are often featured on school breakfast menus because K-12 foodservice programs often rely on some processed foods for easy and quick menu options. However, discover how your menus can benefit from adding scratch- or quick-scratch cooked items to them a bit of a refresh. Whether you include these items daily, monthly or on special occasions, here are nearly 20 restaurant-worthy breakfast items that will excite your student customers and reinvigorate your breakfast offerings. (Give this Cranberry-Peach Oatmeal recipe a try!)

As a school nutrition professional, you know the importance of school breakfast and understand that sometimes the department needs to take an untraditional approach to boost participation. Teachers and school staff are often on the fence with alternative breakfast program models—and when it extends outside of the cafeteria, concern with trash and other logistical problems may arise. But when a school principal gets on board, they can become a major advocate helping the alternative breakfast model become a reality.

This month’s School Nutrition coverage on school breakfast has extra content to help you plan for increased food production, choosing the right food delivery system and how to work with custodial services when it comes to launching an alternative-service breakfast model. Not found in March’s print edition, this expanded digital-exclusive coverage enables the magazine to continue offering high-quality content.

Southern-California native and Palm Springs Unified School District Director of nutrition services Stephanie Bruce first got her taste of USDA meal programs as a summer camp prep cook. From culinary school to obtaining an MBA, Bruce believes in being a leader who provides the necessary tools to her employees, and then stepping out of the way to ensure they can do the job.

Last, but certainly not least, we’re showcasing the playful and inspiring moments from SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference that occurred in January at Indian Wells, Calif. The conference offered three days of creative inspiration, visionary leadership and playful learning opportunities.

March right into school breakfast and the March edition of School Nutrition today!

And what’s on deck for April? Let’s play! No longer just for youngsters as a tool to learn and explore the world around them, play is extremely powerful for adults, too. When adults indulge in playful acts—coloring books, puzzles, games, creative thinking—they can improve brain function, relieve stress, boost social skills and so much more. In the workplace, play can create stronger relationships, decrease sick days and enhance an employee’s overall productivity and creativity. Ready to play? Stay tuned to this space for next month’s April issue.

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