- The kids love it — How great is it to walk into school and get food? The kids have big smiles on their faces when they are carrying their paper bags and milk to their classrooms.
- This is their breakfast — Most of the kids I chatted with weren’t getting breakfast at home.
- Kids can refuse — Some kids don’t take the breakfast bag (I was concerned it would be forced on them) and I was happy to see that.
- Choice between hot and cold — The kids who were eating breakfast in the cafeteria before have mentioned that they like that now they have two options.
- It’s social — Eating with your class can be a wonderful social experience. I believe social skills, especially around meal time, are so valuable. Since my students don’t get recess, they get fewer opportunities to chat. Isn’t part of the the enjoyment of food related to eating it with company?
- Fewer complaints of hunger — Kids aren’t saying they are hungry mid-morning. Huge win.
- Big variability among offerings in terms of quality — Cereal and milk are great (what I eat at home a lot of the time), but many of the breakfasts offer processed cheese, processed meat, and little whole grain. When that’s mirrored in the school lunch meal, it seems a little much.
- Morning routine — Some classrooms are done eating quickly, while others take longer (preschool and special education). I find this to be a great argument for increasing the time given for lunch. It seems like the morning routine is more cohesive now that there is food.
- Increased work for lunch staff — Breakfast participation before was significantly lower than it is now (virtually every kid is eating breakfast now, even many kids who pack a lunch from home). I’ve chatted about it with the lunchroom staff and they are overwhelmingly positive about breakfast. They’ve even told me that they think academic performance will increase. I agree.
Mornings are crazy. When I get the chance, I’ll snap pictures of my students’ breakfasts. I will not be eating the breakfast myself; I’m done eating school food! Been there, done that. By the way, what did you eat this morning for breakfast?