You know the phrase, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ but do you and especially your kids actually eat it? According to a survey of moms done by Kellogg’s, 40% reported their school age child does not eat breakfast daily.
The Lake Mills Area School District is looking to change that statistic for Lake Mills students. The district has been offering school breakfast since the early 2000s, but a new initiative is looking to get even more kids in the district eating breakfast by removing barriers.
The district is now offering breakfast in the classroom also known as breakfast after the bell at Lake Mills Elementary School. The change started Jan. 2 and allows any student to eat breakfast during the first 15 minutes of class while their teachers take attendance, collect homework or begin lessons. Breakfast will no longer be served in the cafeteria prior to school starting.
A letter sent home to parent said, “Serving breakfast in the classroom gives more students the opportunity to eat breakfast at school. It removes common barriers to eating breakfast at school like arriving late or because they would rather spend time with friends outside of the cafeteria.”
Breakfast will be delivered to the classrooms in hot and cold bags.
“Now all students will have the opportunity to eat together in their classrooms and start their day ready to learn,” the letter said.
Nutrition experts say studies of people who skip breakfast show they eat slightly fewer calories during the day, but they tend to have a higher body mass index. Advantages to eating in the morning include: having a lower BMI, consuming less fat throughout the day, meeting recommendations of fruit and vegetable intake, having a higher daily calcium and fiber intake and having better performance with memory and attention for school-aged children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 63% of Americans are overweight or obese; because kids consume over half their meals at school during the week the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, ensures the food served is healthy. Meals served through these programs must meet specific nutrition requirements, revised in 2012 to include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and to decrease the amount of sodium and trans-fat.
Students who participate in school meal programs consume more milk, fruits and vegetables during meals and have a better intake of nutrients like calcium and fiber than those who don’t eat school meals. The CDC reports eating breakfast at school is associated with better attendance rates, fewer missed school days and better test scores.
At Lake Mills Middle and High schools the district offers “On the Move” breakfast bags, which include cereal, peanut butter and jelly or muffin as well as fruit and milk. The schools also offer the traditional breakfast menu.
School breakfasts always includes milk, fruit or juice and whole grains. The cost is $1.60 per meal at the elementary and middle schools or $0.30 for those qualified for the reduced price and free to those who qualify. At Lake Mills High School breakfast costs $1.85