I hate to admit, but we are terrible about getting up and starting the day on time. Most of the time for school we are rushing around, gathering things and throwing on clothes before hopping in the car and heading out to school. About the time we hit the road, one of my kids says…”I’m hungry.” That’s when I kick myself. Seriously? You let you kiddos head off to school without breakfast? Definitely out of the running for mom of the year.
I received compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
If you are like me, you have often sent your child off to school without a proper breakfast. But did you know that many schools offer a nutritious school breakfast? School nutrition programs don’t just stop with lunch! The School Nutrition Association likes to remind children and parents everywhere by celebrating National School Breakfast Week once a year. This year NSBW is happening March 2-6, 2015!
Why is school breakfast so important? Here are some cool facts about the importance of eating school breakfast!
- Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, standardized achievement test scores as well as decreased tardiness. Providing students with breakfast in the classroom setting is associated with lower tardy rates and fewer disciplinary office referrals. (Source: Breakfast for Learning, 2014 (Compiled by the Food Research and Action Council)
- Students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory. Research indicates the quality of foods children eat impacts cognition — with poor nutrition linked with absenteeism, hunger symptoms and psychosocial problems. (Source: The Wellness Impact Report, 2013 (Compiled by the National Dairy Council, GENYOUth, the American School Health Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine)
- Students who eat school breakfast attend, on average, 1.5 more days of school per year and score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests. (Source: Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Analysis, 2013 (Compiled by Share Our Strength and Deloitte)
- The School Breakfast Program significantly improves the cognitive abilities and learning capacities of children. Low-income children who receive school breakfast do better on a variety of indicators than low-income peers who go without breakfast. Significantly, the better outcomes associated with school breakfast include educational preparedness (attendance, energy, alertness, memory) and educational outcome measurements (math scores, grades, reading ability). (Source: Impact of School Breakfast on Children’s Health & Learning, 2008 (Compiled by The Sodexo Foundation)
School lunch and breakfast programs follow a strict federal guidelines that include:
- Fresh fruits
- Whole grains
- Limits on TransFats
- Lowfat or fat-free milk
Using these standards, school nutrition programs have created interesting and exciting menus that include everything your child needs to succeed. Here is a sample menu from a school district in my state:
If school breakfast isn’t available at your school, you can do your part at home and provide a nutritious and tasty start to your child’s day. Follow the federal guidelines and include fruit, milk and whole grains!
During National School Breakfast week, you can visit Facebook or Pinterest to interact with school nutrition professionals and learn more about your children’s school nutrition programs and participate in 3 fun contest to win cool prizes!
One of my kid’s favorite breakfast options is a whole grain Toad in a Hole (sounds weird, but’s it’s just an egg). It takes only a few minutes, and it makes breakfast super fun. You can change the shape of the hole in the egg and use any fun shape cookie cutter, as long as it’s small enough to fit in the slice of bread. Serve it with some fruit and milk and you are good to go! Toad in a Hole can be eaten on the run, which is perfect for my family.
Toad in a Hole
- 1 egg
- 1 slice of whole grain bread
- Cooking spray
Heat pan on medium heat. While pan is heating use a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter, I actually use the lid from a mason jar) to make a small circle hole in bread. Spray pan with cooking spray and place bread in pan. Crack egg into the hole (if it leaks out of the hole that’s ok, it will bind to the bread). Use a fork to break the yolk and slightly scramble the egg. Cook for several minutes until the bottom of the egg seems to be solid. Flip the bread and continue to cook until egg is completely cooked (about the time of a normal fried egg). Toast the additional bread circle, turn to brown on both sides.
My children’s favorite part is the little extra piece of toast they get from the hole cut out. They can eat it like a slice of toast on the way to school. The protein will help them feel full and keep them going until lunch.
Make a commitment to try school breakfast or to make your children breakfast if it’s not available at their school. Give them what they need to succeed!