What's your favorite breakfast food? Here at PDE, we are partial to apples!
It's been long known and well documented that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—the meal that jumpstarts your brain and body into action so that you can learn, grow, and perform your best.
This week is National School Breakfast Week, a week dedicated to the importance of getting a healthy start to the day to fuel children's academic success. According to the School Nutrition Association, students who eat breakfast are more likely to:
- Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math;
- Score higher on standardized tests;
- Have better concentration and memory; and
- Be more alert and maintain a healthy weight.
While the benefits are clear, we know that many families struggle to ensure that their children have access to healthy meals to start their day. This week, Governor Josh Shapiro proposed $38.5 million to continue to provide universal free breakfast for all Pennsylvania students, regardless of income.
The Universal Free Breakfast Program started this year in Pennsylvania (2022-23), and since it began, participation has doubled among students who would usually have to pay full price. The program ensures that all students have access to a healthy, nutritious meal to start the school day and eliminates the stigma associated with free and reduced-price breakfast that may deter eligible students from participating.
Schools can celebrate National School Breakfast Week by serving special items, hosting events, and sending home activities for students and their families to do together. SNA offers the following fun ideas to get school communities engaged:
- Decorate your cafeteria with posters and related artwork. Focus on designs that promote nutritious food choices, particularly breakfast foods.
- Invite teachers, administrators or even your school principal to stand in as guest servers for breakfast one morning.
- Offer a tasting of new breakfast menu items and talk to students about the nutritive benefits they get from certain foods, such as strong bones from the calcium in milk or energy from the complex carbs in oatmeal.
The research is clear: when students get proper nutrition, they are both physically and mentally prepared to learn and therefore, perform better in school. What will you be eating for breakfast tomorrow?