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Breakfast in the Classroom

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What is Breakfast in the Classroom?

The breakfast in the classroom initiative takes the traditional school breakfast approach and moves it into the classroom, making it possible for all children to participate. Serving breakfast in the classroom eliminates many of the barriers attached to a cafeteria-based breakfast. This alternative breakfast model has proven to increase breakfast participation and improve academic performance.

Why is Breakfast Important?

Studies have shown that breakfast is the key ingredient for children's health, cognitive development and academic achievement.

However, many children skip breakfast regularly, depriving them of the important benefits associated with the morning meal.

Less than half of the students who are eligible for a free or reduced-price breakfast are actually eating it.

Fortunately, there are proven methods for dramatically increasing breakfast participation that can benefit students, teachers and schools.

Students who eat breakfast at school:

Perform better on standardized tests than students that eat breakfast at home or skip breakfast altogether.

Experience improved concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory and learning.

See improved math grades, attendance and behavior.

Changing the Way Breakfast is Served

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Schools that serve breakfast in the cafeteria often struggle to increase participation for reasons outside their control. Reasons for low participation may include:

  • Inability to get to school early due to bus and carpool schedules
  • Busy morning schedules
  • Lack of awareness about the School Breakfast Program
  • Social stigma that "only low-income students" eat breakfast in the cafeteria
  • Peer pressure to socialize instead of eating breakfast

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Making Breakfast Part of the Day

Moving breakfast into the classroom and making it part of the school day can drastically increase participation rates. Schools that have implemented this innovative breakfast model report student academic and behavior improvements, better school culture and a boost in school nutrition revenue.

In Denver, results from a two-month Breakfast in the Classroom pilot program showed an increase in daily breakfasts served from 140 to 580 students, a significant decline in health clerk visits, and a nearly 40 percent drop in student discipline referrals.

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How it Works

Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) works especially well in elementary schools, but is easily adapted for all grade levels. It is served after the school day begins, immediately following the opening bell. It's transported to and from the classroom by the school nutrition staff and/or student volunteers and usually consists of easy-to-eat and easy-to-clean items, such as:

  • Breakfast sandwiches or burritos
  • Low-fat muffins
  • Cereals
  • Fruit
  • Milk and juice

Breakfast in the Classroom Cart:

Our Breakfast in the Classroom Cart makes it easy to take the traditional cafeteria breakfast approach and move it into the classroom.

  • Lightweight cart easily transports from cafeteria to classroom
  • Vertical design makes great use of space
  • Insulated bins keep hot food hot and cold food cold
  • Slanted shelves provide easy access for students
  • Double-sided "Breakfast" signage set draws attention to your breakfast program
  • Overall dimensions: 36"L x 18"W x 69"H

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Breakfast in the Classroom Cart

What is the School Breakfast Program?

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally assisted meal program designed to ensure that all children have access to a healthy breakfast at school to promote healthy eating behaviors and readiness for learning. Schools that participate in the program receive reimbursement for the meals they serve. Failing to be more innovative in boosting breakfast participation leaves millions of federal dollars untapped that could be used to feed low-income children. For that reason, thousands of schools have implemented new service models – such as "Breakfast in the Classroom" – which are transforming their breakfast program and increasing overall breakfast participation.

What You Can Do to Get Started:

  • Explore resources and grant opportunities. The federal government often lists breakfast expansion funding opportunities on its main page. Visit:
  • Reach out to your cafeteria manager or nutrition director. Initiate a conversation about expanding the school breakfast program. Discuss the positive change it could have on students.
  • Talk with school administrators. Emphasize the health, educational and behavioral benefits of breakfast in the classroom.

Need Help?

Our education experts are working with professionals like you every day to satisfy students and meet participation goals. Contact us by email or call (800) 543-7374

Schedule a Consultation Now!

Our education experts are working with professionals like you every day to satisfy students and meet participation goals. Speak with one of our education experts today to learn how!