By Dr. Nancy Cotugna, DrPH, RD
Professor, University of Delaware & Food Bank of Delaware Board Member
This week is National School Breakfast Week. School breakfast provides students with a balanced, healthy meal giving them a quarter of their requirements for protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. We all know that a good breakfast jumpstarts the day, helps boost test scores and improves student behavior.
While all public schools in Delaware offer breakfast, only a handful provide breakfast in the classroom. The Food Bank of Delaware’s Anti-Hunger Coalition is working with schools, teachers and administrators to increase the number of children who eat breakfast by encouraging the schools to offer breakfast that can be eaten in the classroom. Serving breakfast in the classroom increases participation by making it convenient and eliminating barriers such as late bus arrivals. Breakfast in the classroom improves student learning, test scores, behavior, and decreases tardiness, lack of attentiveness and visits to the school nurse, and can be a timesaver for busy parents. Breakfast sets student up for a day of learning and activity.
The Food Bank of Delaware has spent time observing several successful classroom school breakfast programs throughout the state. We’ve begun dialogue with school officials to effectively implement these best practices in more schools throughout the First State. To learn more about breakfast in the classroom, please visit www.breakfastintheclassroom.org.