Breakfast Program Fueling the School Day in Ohio

Ohio News Connection

This is National School Breakfast Week (March 5-9), and districts in Ohio are educating students and families about the breakfast options available before the school bell rings.

Each day, more than 440-thousand Ohio students get a healthy, nutritious meal before they start their day through the federal School Breakfast Program.

Diane Pratt-Heavner with the School Nutrition Association explained that for some kids, school breakfast and lunch are their only opportunities to have a complete, healthy meal. And she adds that the benefits cannot be underestimated.

“Children who eat breakfast at school perform better on standardized tests. Kids who eat a healthy school breakfast are more likely to be able to pay attention in class and concentrate on their school work. And they also show improved attendance and behavior.”

Pratt-Heavner explained that as they look to expand school breakfast participation, many districts are finding ways to make the meals more accessible.

“It can sometimes be hard for kids coming off the bus to get to the cafeteria in time for school breakfast. So, many schools are offering unique serving options. They’re setting up grab-and-go kiosks or they’re offering breakfast in the classroom.”

She added that the meals served at school meet federal nutrition standards that limit fat, calories and sodium. And she says many school cafeterias are serving fun options that include a wide assortment of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The theme of this year’s National School Breakfast Week is “I Heart School Breakfast” – and students, parents, and educators are encouraged to show their love for the program on social media.