Preparing for National School Breakfast Week #NSBW23
Matthew Good MS, RD, LD
Reading Time: 2.5 minutes
Are you ready for National School Breakfast Week 2023?
A Brief History
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) was first introduced as a two-year pilot project in 1966, providing first-consideration grants to schools located in poor areas or where children traveled a great distance to school. After several extensions and modifications to the original legislation, including priority for children of working mothers, the program received permanent authorization in 1975.
That original pilot project served about 80,000 total children in 1966. Currently, the SBP is credited with feeding 12 million children every single day. In 1989, the inaugural National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) was launched to celebrate the program’s success while continuing to increase its participation. It now occurs annually the first full week of March and will again happen March 6th through March 10th, 2023.
A Reason to Celebrate
The most important meal of the day? Taking away from the importance of all nutrition, regardless of mealtime, is not this dietitian’s prerogative. That doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment to highlight the achievements of breakfast.
Children who regularly eat breakfast…
- Experience a decreased risk for overweight and obesity.
- Tend to eat healthier overall.
- Are more physically active.
- Miss fewer days of school.
Additionally, our young breakfast eaters…
- Achieve higher levels in reading and math.
- Perform better on standardized tests.
- Have improved concentration and memory.
- Encounter fewer behavioral issues.
If these are just a few examples of breakfast’s benefits for our children, what’s not to celebrate?!
Dig In to School BreakfastTM
Each year, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) develops a theme for NSBW, with this year being “Dig In to School Breakfast.” They have developed a variety of resources for promoting this celebration. An extended toolkit (logistical checklists, social media guidance, arranging media events) is available exclusively to SNA members.
Besides the traditional celebration tactics of hanging up a few posters, how else can you get your student body involved in NSBW? Here are a couple of ideas…
- Promote and introduce a new breakfast item each day of that week. They’ll be excited, and you have an excuse to try possible future products.
- Provide a raffle ticket to each student who participates in breakfast each day of that week. Hold a raffle during lunch period, or announce the winner on Friday afternoon. The prize doesn’t have to be fancy. Kids love free school swag.
- Approach administration about making breakfast free for all students for the entire week. Getting a child to participate initially is the biggest battle of increasing your breakfast numbers. Just remember, someone has to reimburse for the “Paid” and “Reduced” meals if given free of charge, and it can’t be the nonprofit cafeteria account.
- Experiment with breakfast in the classroom. Better yet, set up a remote breakfast service location by the school’s main entrance. If you’re an i3 Education PaySchools client, a variety of tools are already available to you to ease the implementation process. PaySchools’ prepopulated reports and rosters can make classroom feeding, counting, and reporting a cinch, and their built-in software features can make mobile breakfast carts a financially feasible possibility.
Lastly, take credit for all your efforts in getting your student body involved with National School Breakfast Week. Post your pictures on social with #NSBW23, and remember to tag i3 Education. We’d love to celebrate your efforts!
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Matthew is a private practice registered dietitian and freelance content provider for i3 Education, with over a decade of experience in K-12 nutrition.