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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
School Breakfast – Ready Set Go! - School Breakfast Program Helps Students Make a Healthy Start to their Day
National Harbor, MD, March 5, 2010 – Next week, school districts across the nation are hosting “School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!,” a campaign to introduce students to the importance of school breakfast and demonstrate how eating a school breakfast prepares you for a busy day at school. The campaign, created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association with support from General Mills Foodservice, culminates during National School Breakfast Week, March 8 to 12, 2010.
Everyone can agree on the importance of breakfast to student achievement, yet too many children miss out on the most critical meal of the day. Numerous studies have shown that breakfast can improve a student’s memory, test scores, school attendance and cut down on visits to the school nurse. Research has also shown that children who eat breakfast each day have a higher intake of vitamins and minerals and maintain a healthier weight than those who skip.
Fortunately, every school day, the National School Breakfast Program fuels more than 10.6 million students for success. The program is both critical to maintaining the health and well-being of children who are eligible for free or reduced price meals, and it provides a great alternative for children who don’t want to eat breakfast at home.
“The morning routine for many families can be so hectic, and some children just aren’t hungry before they leave for school,” said Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, President of the School Nutrition Association and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas. “Knowing that your child can eat a healthy breakfast once they get to school can be a huge relief for parents.”
School breakfast provides the necessary energy to start a day of learning and achievement, providing 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and calories and meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
All school meals are served in age-appropriate portion sizes and schools have many different serving techniques - from ‘grab and go’ bags and hallway kiosks to breakfast in the classroom and traditional cafeteria service. Many schools are offering breakfast at no cost to students because of the proven value of eating breakfast. School breakfast today includes whole grains found in cereal, cereal bars and bagels, as well as fruit and low fat dairy including milk and yogurt.
The positive effects that eating breakfast has on students’ performance in school continues to grow as more schools are serving breakfast. The School Breakfast Program has been in place for about 40 years and today over ten million children eat school breakfast everyday.
The National School Breakfast Program was established in 1966. Since 1989, National School Breakfast Week has been raising awareness of the program and the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles.
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