Do you have trouble getting your children out the door with breakfast in hand bright and early in the morning? Do you find yourself begging your child to eat breakfast or sitting in the morning drive thru line? Let me share a time-saving secret that may also save you money– it’s called school breakfast.
You already know breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it primes your child’s brain for peak performance and studies show children that eat breakfast have better concentration and critical thinking, fewer behavioral issues and reduced tardiness.
What you might not know is school breakfast is available to more than 90 percent of schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and it isn’t just for students receiving free or reduced meals. School breakfast is for everyone, especially busy families that are crunched for time in the morning. And who isn’t crunched for time in the morning?
During National School Breakfast Week, I encourage families to start making breakfast time your favorite time by participating in your school’s breakfast program. You’ll find school breakfast is healthier now than ever before and contains a mix of whole grains, lean proteins, fruit and milk. You’ll also find schools across the metro offer breakfast in creative ways including:
- Breakfast in the classroom
- Grab-and-go breakfast
- Second-chance breakfast (also known as second hour/period breakfast)
- Mobile breakfast carts
If you can’t join your child for school breakfast, take time to read the breakfast menu with them and discuss making healthy choices. Many school districts make finding menus easy by posting them to the district website, tweeting or emailing parents directly.
Many more school districts are now offering “universal school breakfast,” so check if yours is one of them! Universal school breakfast allows all students to receive free breakfast regardless of their families’ income status. This reduces the perception that school breakfast is just for poor students, promotes breakfast as the most important meal to “start the day,” and helps parents save time and money.
You can help promote and support a healthy school breakfast using resources and tools from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. To learn how you and your school can join the movement, visit www.healthiergeneration.org.