From the school entrance to the classroom – breakfast is served!

Addison Northeast Food Service Cooperative offers breakfast to students as they walk down the hallways of Monkton School (VT).

Gone are the days where students can only get their school breakfast sitting down at a table in the cafeteria. Schools across the country are utilizing various locations and methods to reach more students and ensure every child starts their day with a balanced, nutritious breakfast.

Evanston Township High School (IL) serves breakfast to its high school students in four locations every day. The school offers hot morning meals and grab and go options in the North Cafeteria.  There’s also a student-run coffee and smoothie bar in the Main Lobby Snack Window meeting students when they arrive.  Grab and go breakfast options can be enjoyed at high top tables in the South Study Café and a limited grab and go breakfast is also available at the PE Wing Breakfast Kiosk across the school.

Breakfast is served at all locations until 8:20 a.m. but the school also offers a second chance breakfast in one location to accommodate students who do not have a first-period class or missed breakfast service. Their breakfast options range to suit varying student tastes – menus include chocolate chip French toast, potato stix, breakfast egg sandwiches, oatmeal with yogurt, oven-baked hash browns, protein-infused smoothies, whole grain iced donut, etc.

Offering “breakfast after the bell” has become a popular way to increase breakfast participation in many schools. Brandon Valley School District (SD) has calculated a 216% increase in breakfast participation rates after offering a Second Chance Breakfast, breakfast after the bell. Overall promotion of the second chance offering allows schools to feed hungry children and help them get ready to learn.

A second chance breakfast served in Brandon Valley Schools (SD) offers milk, a slice of whole grain banana bread, fruit and fruit juice.

Child Nutrition Director Gay Anderson, SNS, said the school board was receptive to offering all students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade breakfast after the bell mostly because of allergy concerns when students shared food in the classroom. Anderson was able to convince the school board to waive the student fee of 30 cents for reduced price breakfasts, ensuring all students access to a nutritious breakfast. Breakfast menu items include omelets, breakfast pizza and pancakes, where the Second Chance Breakfast menu offers more ready-to-eat cereals, like breakfast bars, bagels, etc. There is always a juice cup along with another fruit, which is rotated. Students grab their bag of breakfast and the milk of their choice and they are off to the classroom!

“The whole process really evolved by having a very supportive school board and administration for the program,” said Anderson. “We reached out to families sharing the benefit of breakfast after the bell… The big reason for the increase in participation was the elimination of the reduced price for breakfast.”

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