Every year, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) brings awareness to the School Breakfast Program (SBP) for schools. National School Breakfast Week is the SNA’s opportunity to bring more awareness to their SBP. The SNA is a collaboration of over 57,000 members who share the vision of providing high-quality, low-cost meals to kids in schools across the county. They advocate for better nutrition education in schools by supporting school nutrition professionals.
This week, National School Breakfast Week is running March 5 – 9th and their theme is, “I Heart School Breakfast”. This theme is centered on encouraging parents, students, and school administrators to get social! The SNA is encouraging kids to share the message about school breakfast with something everyone is familiar with – emojis! They’ve created lots of fun images kids can share about their morning meals.
When you wake up in the morning, your body is getting your brain ready to start the day. As you slept, your body’s cells used up their energy stores and they’re now clamoring for more! Eating a breakfast with a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat feeds those hungry cells.
This is especially important for growing children. Breakfast provides them with much needed energy and ensures they’re getting as many vitamins and nutrients as they can by eating a full meal first thing in the morning. Research studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast are able to focus better during the day than kids who skip breakfast. Most adults have a hard time focusing when they’re hungry, so it’s no surprise kids are affected, too.
Healthy Habits for Kids
Mornings can certainly be a hectic time. Breakfast is a great opportunity to get your kids to focus on food in a healthy way. Taking the time to have your kids sit at the table and enjoy a healthy morning meal will teach them how to find a peaceful moment in the chaos. It doesn’t even need to be a full spread – simply sitting for a few minutes with a bowl of fortified cereal and milk is enough to get the day going on the right foot.
Sometimes it’s just not feasible to sit down at the table and your child will need something to take on-the-go. There are lots of options that are easy to carry and still pack in plenty of nutrients.
- Hard-cooked eggs that are pre-peeled earlier in the week are perfect because they’re easy to throw in a sandwich bag and go!
- Pre-prepare miniature yogurt parfaits by layering yogurt and berries in a to-go container. Fill snack bags with granola to sprinkle on top and a plastic spoon. Viola, your child now has the perfect breakfast!
- No time for prep? Grab a cheese stick and an apple! Your child will still be having a balanced breakfast that fuels them for their day.
Breakfast doesn’t need to be fancy, but getting into the habit of starting your child’s day off with an energy boost will set her up for balanced eating habits in the future. Schools have the opportunity to work within the FDA’s guidelines to serve balanced breakfasts of their choosing. There’s no set menu or plan – schools can participate in ways that fit best with their students so there’s something for everyone!
The SBP is a great opportunity for kids to have breakfast at school if they don’t have time for it at home. It’s also reassuring as a parent to know that if you don’t have time, your child is still provided a healthy meal.
Your turn to take action: Does your school participate in National School Breakfast Week? What emoji would your child use to share this message?