We have all heard it before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. Without a nutritious breakfast, kids are not fueled to start the day ready to learn.
Even though we know how important breakfast is, far too many kids in Washington are missing breakfast and starting the day hungry. Without that important first meal of the day, their chance to succeed at school is drastically reduced. Kids in Washington State are too hungry to learn.
In order to fight childhood hunger, we have school nutrition programs that provide nutritious meals to low-income children at a free or reduced price. However, while the school lunch program is reaching most eligible children, only 33% of eligible low-income students in Washington are eating school breakfast. This low participation rate puts our state at 41st – in the bottom 20 percent – among states in the number of low-income children who eat school breakfast.
One of the main reasons that eligible children aren’t eating school breakfast is that most school breakfast programs require kids to get to school early in order to eat. School bus schedules, friends on the playground, carpools, and social stigma all create real barriers to kids accessing breakfast at school.
The good news is there’s a solution: Breakfast After the Bell incorporates the most important meal into the school day and will ultimately increase achievement levels.
Breakfast After The Bell gives kids food where and when it matters most. By moving breakfast to after the bell and including it as part of the school day (just like lunch), breakfast participation increases. Schools that more effectively get their students a healthy breakfast find that kids do better academically in class, are better behaved, and have less visits to the nurse during the school day.
Watch this interview with two Washington State Elementary School principals about why they believe in serving school breakfast after the bell.
Click here to see progress of the bill to expand “Breakfast After the Bell” meal service for low-income students across the state.
Source: Breakfast After the Bell
Breakfast After the Bell Program Combats Obesity
See how programs like what they have at White Center Heights Elementary are aimed at fighting childhood obesity may end up in more schools.