As a school nutrition professional, there is a lot of opportunity to be creative, including two special occasions where you can truly let your imagination soar: National School Lunch Week (#NSLW24) and National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW25)!

Beginning the planning process early is crucial for a successful campaign! This involves coordinating with frontline foodservice staff, teachers, local community partners and other stakeholders. It also ensures that you have secured the necessary resources, including funding, supplies and activities to bring your ideas to life.

The themes for this school year’s events have been thoughtfully chosen to resonate with the evolving interests of students, aiming to captivate them with engaging activities, fun-filled events, and, of course, delicious meals. These themes serve as a foundation for school staff to develop an innovative campaign that reinforces the overall message of the benefits of school meals.

Continue reading to discover more about the upcoming themes, along with ideas on how to celebrate. We hope you’re as thrilled about the #NSLW24 and #NSBW25 themes as we are!


2024 National School Lunch Week:

School Lunch Pirates: Find Your Treasure

Ahoy, me hearties! Prepare to embark on a lunchtime adventure with this year’s National School Lunch Week theme, “School Lunch Pirates: Find Your Treasure.” This theme will help bring a sense of adventure and whimsy to your school lunch programs across the land, encouraging young scallywags to set sail right in their cafeteria.

Why pirates, you may ask? Well, it’s no secret that pirates have long captured the imaginations of children and adults alike with their tales of high-seas adventures and hidden treasures. By tapping into this timeless fascination, #NSLW24 aims not only to boost participation in the National School Lunch Program but also to foster a sense of excitement and camaraderie among students as they gather to break bread together.

Serve up a feast fit for a crew of hungry pirates with hearty options like aShipwreck Stew” (with beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions, simmered in a savory broth), “Cannonballs” (meatballs), “Pirate’s Grog” (a fruit infused water) or “Captain’s

Catch of the Day” (featuring fish sticks or grilled fish).

Encourage students and staff alike to don their finest pirate attire, complete with eye patches, bandanas, and cardboard swords. You can even host a costume contest to see who can come up with the most swashbuckling ensemble (official #NSBW24 merchandise available from the SNA Shop can be awarded as prizes to the most creative and spirited pirates).

Transform the school cafeteria into a pirate ship with nautical-themed decorations with anchors, ropes and treasure chests brimming with gold coins (or healthy snacks!)

By embracing the spirit of adventure and exploration, the “School Lunch Pirates” theme encourages students to view school lunch as more than just a meal – it becomes an exciting journey filled with delicious school lunch treasures waiting to be discovered. So, hoist your Jolly Roger, set a course for culinary delight and let the quest for nutritious treasures begin! Arrr!



2025 National School Breakfast Week:

Clue In to School Breakfast

In your cafeteria, a thrilling mystery is about to unfold for the 2025 National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW25). Picture this: the breakfast table is a crime scene, and every morsel holds a clue to unlocking the secrets of a healthy start to the day. We’ve donned our detective hats for this theme, “Clue In to School Breakfast.” With a detective/mystery theme, this event theme will help to captivate young minds and reveal the hidden truths behind a nutritious morning meal.

Now, let’s delve into an exciting look into breakfast detective work and uncover ways to celebrate National School Breakfast Week in style.

Begin your investigatory meal with delicious recipes with intriguing twists and mystery ingredients to keep students guessing. A “Detective’s Delight Omelet” could be an omelet with veggies, cheese and a secret sauce served with a side of fruit. For a refreshing twist, uncover the secrets of the “Sleuth’s Surprise Smoothie Bowl,” which could be a colorful concoction of blended fruits topped with granola, nuts and a mystery ingredient. You could add on a “Mystery Muffin,” where assorted muffins conceal hidden surprises, from rich chocolate chips to nutritious veggies.

Dressing up is a breeze with a plethora of famous detectives to take inspiration from. Channel Sherlock Holmes with the iconic deerstalker hat, pipe and magnifying glass for the quintessential detective look. Or embrace the charm of Miss Marple with a tweed skirt, cardigan and a shrewd gaze. For a touch of classic noir, step into the shadows with a fedora, trench coat and a steely resolve, ready to solve any breakfast-related mystery.

As for decorations, transform your space into a crime scene with crime scene tape, cut-out silhouettes of famous detectives and shadowy figures adorning the walls to add an air of suspense to the atmosphere. You can even scatter coded messages throughout the cafeteria, challenging students to decipher the clues while they enjoy their breakfast.

As National School Breakfast Week approaches, the stage is set for a thrilling adventure in nutrition and discovery. So, grab your magnifying glass, sharpen your wits and join the investigation—breakfast mysteries await!





Ad for NSLW24, links to NSLW24 shop site

Related Articles