School Nutrition: Breakfast’s Big Impact
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 eat 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).
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So, what’s on the morning menu? Bagels, juices, pre-packaged breakfast entrées 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 give 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.
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 can arise. But when a school principal gets on board, they can become a major advocate helping the alternative breakfast model become a reality.
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