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Meals & Nutrition

SCHOOL BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM PROGRAM

Every child should start the school day with a healthy breakfast. Studies show that students who skip breakfast generally have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to be absent or tardy. Students who eat breakfast generally have better vitamin and nutrient intake, enjoy overall healthier diets and are less prone to being overweight or obese.

One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day. Traditional school breakfast programs often operate too early for students to participate, particularly if bus or carpool schedules do not allow them to get there on time. Breakfast in the Classroom is an innovative, proven approach to successfully expand access to school breakfast by allowing students to eat breakfast in their classroom after the official start of the school day. Breakfast in the Classroom typically takes 10–15 minutes and can happen during morning tasks such as attendance or it can be integrated with other instructional activities.

Schools with a high percentage of free and reduced students qualify to participate in our district Breakfast in the Classroom pilot program. All students in the school would receive a nutritious school breakfast every school day at no charge.

KEY FACTS TO CONSIDER

Health

Skipping Breakfast has a Negative Effect on Health: When students miss a healthy morning meal they go to class hungry. Hunger is associated with lower physical activity, stomachaches, headaches, depression, anxiety and a decreased ability to focus.

Better Diets: Students who participate in the School Breakfast Program are more likely to consume important vitamins and mineral. Eating breakfast regularly is linked to greater intake of fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin C and lower in intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Academic Achievement

Skipping Breakfast has a Negative Impact on Learning: Studies show that students who skip breakfast generally have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to be absent or tardy and to repeat a grade.

Improved School Achievements: Students who eat breakfast consistently show improvement in verbal fluency, arithmetic, tests of attention, memory, creativity, physical endurance, and general tests of academic achievement and cognitive functioning.

Improved Memory, Listening Skills: A Tufts University study showed elementary school students who eat breakfast listen better and have better spatial memory and short-term memory than students who skip breakfast.

Better Behaved: Researchers found low-income students who ate meals at school were less likely to be hyperactive and had fewer behavioral or attention problems than their hungry peers.

Higher Rates Of Attendance: Studies show that universal school breakfast program participation is associated with higher rates of attendance and declines in tardiness.

Lower Rates Of Tardiness: Schools with increased participation in school breakfast programs had their proportion of children chronically tardy decreased by 67%.

Reference: Food Research and Action Center [FRAC]

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health [NIH]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446676/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16014126
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9473912

ScienceDirect.com [Physiology & Behavior]

Institute of Education Science [ERIC]  

VIDEO You can view a great informational video made by Salt Lake City School District.

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