Three Ways to Serve a Healthy Morning Meal

Today's guest blog post comes to us courtesy of our friends at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, as we celebrate National School Breakfast Week.

Some mornings, just getting out the door with matching socks can be a battle for parents. From hectic schedules to picky eaters, parents, teachers and principals alike understand the challenges of getting kids to school with a full stomach.

However, everyone agrees that kids benefit physically and academically when they start the day with a healthy meal. Years ago, the only way for students to get breakfast at school was to arrive early, hustle to the cafeteria, and woof down a meal before the bell. Many of today’s students now have more options that have increased flexibility for those picky eaters and reduced stigma for children that receive free breakfast due to financial need.

In honor of National School Breakfast Week, catch up on the latest breakfast trends and think about what might work for your school.

Breakfast in the Classroom: Serving breakfast in the classroom is a convenient way for schools to ensure that all students start the day with a healthy meal. Students can catch up on reading, talk quietly with their peers or listen to morning announcements while they fuel up to learn.

See it in action: Arizona’s Salk Elementary Schools is feeding more students in the classroom

Video: Learn how to make it work

Grab and Go Breakfast: Schools that use the grab and go model often set up kiosks or carts around the building and serve a healthy breakfast in a bag that students can grab in a hurry and eat when they’re hungry. Doing away with long cafeteria lines can also help schools reach more students.

See it in action: Grab and Go is boosting participation at Liberal High School in Kansas

Video: Learn how to make it work

Second Chance Breakfast: This model is especially effective for students that just aren’t hungry first thing in the morning. Schools typically offer second chance breakfast after first period as a way for students that arrived late to school or are still working up an appetite in the morning.

See it in action: Brandon Valley is giving students a second chance to fuel up

Think one of these methods could work for your school? Visit our Smart Food Planner for healthy, creative breakfast menu ideas. And head over to our Training Center and tell me about your school breakfast challenges or successes in our School Nutrition Online Community.

Carol Chong is a national nutrition advisor at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation