Expanding your school breakfast program is not only a win for students.
Who Benefits from Expanding School Breakfast?
School Nutrition Staff benefit because:
- Participation increases
- Reimbursement funds increase
- Nutritious foods are served
Parents/Students benefit because:
- Mornings are less rushed
- Concerns about food insecurities are relieved
- Social stigmas are eliminated
Teachers/Principals benefit because:
- Academic performance improves
- Morning disruptions decrease
- Attention increases
- Nurse visits decrease
- Absenteeism decreases
- Behavioral referrals decrease
Alternative Breakfast Models
Research shows that implementing an Alternative Breakfast Model is the most effective way to increase participation in your School Breakfast Program. These new service models make it convenient for students to participate by serving it in places where they can easily access the meal – in the hallway, classrooms or even later in the morning.
What is the Right Breakfast Model for your School?
There are several ways that schools can integrate breakfast into the school day. Some breakfast service models may benefit your school more than others – depending on the resources available, the structure of classes and the size of the school. The first step is to evaluate each option and determine which one would best suit your students and staff.
1. Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC):
This model allows students to eat their breakfast during the first 10 to 15 minutes of the school day. The meals are transported on a mobile cart to the classroom by the school nutrition staff and/or student volunteers following the opening bell. Teachers record the number of meals served and the trash is later removed by custodial staff. This model is commonly in elementary schools where children start the day in the same classroom with the same teacher each day. BIC is associated with the highest participation rates, which can be as high as 98%.
Helpful Tip: This is a great opportunity to integrate breakfast into lesson plans and teach students about nutrition.
2. Grab & Go Breakfast:
This concept is as straightforward as it sounds. Students grab their breakfast from a mobile hallway cart and eat it on the way to class or during the first 10 to 15 minutes of the school day. Carts should be located in high traffic areas or where students socialize. The school nutrition staff records the number of meals served. “Grab & Go” is a good option for schools that don’t have the resources to deliver meals to individual classrooms.
Helpful Tip: Set up multiple Grab & Go stations throughout the building to reduce wait times and serve more students.
3. Second Chance Breakfast:
This model gives students who don’t have time to eat or are not hungry before the start of the school day, a second opportunity to eat breakfast (typically between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.). Similar to the Grab & Go model, students pick up a pre-packaged item from a mobile hallway cart to eat during a morning break or on their way to class. This model works particularly well for secondary schools, because older students tend to arrive closer to the start of the school day, leaving no time for breakfast.
Helpful Tip: Be sure to have adequate trash receptacles in the hallways, as students may consume their meal on the way to class.
Once you’ve decided on a model, you should analyze the financial viability of the program. Our Education experts can help calculate various costs and determine the best options for your school and your bottom line. Contact us today to get started!