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3 Reasons to “Heart” School Breakfast During #NSBW18 and Beyond!

by Shannon Ebron, MS, RDN, LD | March 1, 2018 | School | 0 comments

A Healthy Breakfast

A healthy breakfast at Ritenour School District in St. Louis, Mo.

Struggling to read this? Chances are you may have missed breakfast. As a mom, you may overlook breakfast in exchange for extra sleep, no appetite, or due to running late. Hitting the snooze button probably felt good this morning, but now a feeling of discomfort may be consuming you. You feel a rumble in your stomach, weakness and utter distraction as you stumble about the first half of your day. Now imagine a child feeling like this with PE, math, and English before noon! How can you be at your best?

After painting that picture, you can see why breakfast is upheld as the most important meal of the day, but school breakfast should be shown love too! And now is the time to celebrate school breakfast because March 5-9, 2018 is National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)!

Fruit Plate

National School Breakfast Week is a celebration of the UDSA School Breakfast Program (SBP). Launched by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) in 1989, the purpose of NSBW is to raise awareness of breakfast service at schools and the link between breakfast and brain growth. While NSBW is just over 20 years old, the SBP has fueled the bodies and minds of school children for more than 50 years! What’s more, as of 2016, the SBP provided breakfast to 14.57 million children. Now, I ask how can you not “heart” school breakfast? Still need convincing, check out my 3 reasons to “heart” school breakfast.

  1. It is healthy. School breakfast includes milk, whole-grain rich foods and or meat/meat alternates, and fruits or vegetables. Also limits are set for sodium, calories, saturated fats, and trans fat. This meal pattern is offered to every student, every day.
  2. It is economical. A family can buy school breakfast for .30¢ to $1.51 per child. At some schools breakfast is free for every child, every day no matter their income status due to federal reimbursement program options; Provision 2 or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
  3. It builds social and motor skills. New school food service models like Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) add eating a healthy breakfast into the school day. Eating breakfast as a class fosters community, socializing and etiquette, food safety, responsibility, and basic nutrition concepts are learned. Traditional cafeteria service boasts benefits too! Cafeteria updates such as self-service food bars allow students to develop fine motor skills by way of using tongs for fruit or a scoop for yogurt.

This year’s #NSBW18 theme is “I Heart School Breakfast.” As you can tell I have a special place in my heart for school breakfast, and now I hope you do too.

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Shannon Ebron, MS, RDN, LD

I am a school district dietitian excited about nourishing the health of my community through school meals. My hope is to strengthen students’ understanding of the food chain process from farm to fork. I love my job because I served an elementary student his first taste of broccoli-apple salad and watched him come back seven times for more! My taste buds are moo-ved by iced lattes.

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