Breakfast in the classroom: example five

Pancake on a stick, orange juice, and syrup

One kid deconstructed his breakfast

What the…? That was my reaction the first time I saw this breakfast. I also didn’t look too closely at the package of syrup and for a split second I wondered if the kids were squeezing honey onto their corn dogs — no, that isn’t honey and that ain’t a corn dog, but it sure looks like it. I think the pancake encases a turkey sausage.


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37 thoughts on “Breakfast in the classroom: example five

  1. Back in highschool we had these served at breakfast. They weren't to bad. But I don't think I could eat one now. I prefer a much healthier diet than I did back then.

  2. Ick! We had these in my high school. I will admit that they did please my taste buds a bit…but they are SO sugary sweet, and I got a stomach ache after eating them EVERY SINGLE TIME. Needless to say, I stopped eating them after the first few times. 🙂

  3. I think that looks kind of gross. I wonder if the kids really loved it though.
    I make pancakes for breakfast almost every weekend. And sausage is also a favorite, though usually more for dinner than breakfast. But the whole visual, how it looks like a corn dog is enough to make my stomach turn. Yuk.

  4. Euwww… Looks gross….

    "What the….?" would be my reaction too. Who eats a pancake from a stick? Weird.

  5. As an adult I think yuck, but a kid probably likes it. Was the syrup real? Probably not.

  6. they serve this at the school I teach at but with pork sausage instead of the turkey. It seems rotten each and every time they serve it.

  7. My daughter is in 3rd grade and food like that is exactly why I send her breakfast snack and lunch from home. Our schools breakfast menu is worse than the lunch menu.

  8. These are actually SO YUMMY! My mom buys them for my dad and when I go their house, I always steal a couple 😉

  9. The point of this is most likely to serve a pancake and sausage type breakfast with the least possible mess…I don't know what age you teach but small kids and syrup…it can be a deadly combination with syrup ending up everywhere!! With that being said…I don't think my daughter would eat it because she won't eat sausage.

  10. it looks messy, smelly and unhealthy……syrup in the classroom? omg no thanks!

    I would think they were trying to give them a sugar spike with that choice….and do i see juice as well…..probably full of HFCS…how did they behave after eating that?

  11. *barf*

    I don't like hotdogs, and I'm not a fan of pancakes, either. I just thank my mama for feeding me every morning so I didn't have to go through this torture.

  12. I think they're trying to serve protein and carbs in a convenient and appealing form. It's often mentioned that kids don't have enough time to eat, and eating food on a stick is much quicker than eating it with a fork and knife. And although adult readers may not find this food appealing, most kids do! So at least the kids are eating something to start fueling their day, which might not be the case with more complicated, less appealing foods. Besides, breakfast at school is optional. Parents can feed their kids something else. Remember that it is a privilege, not a right.

  13. Given the option of having my child go hungry or eat what is pictured here, I'd almost rather they go hungry. It sounds terrible, but that meal is full of refined sugars, fats, and unnecessary calories. School lunch is bad enough without having school breakfast also contributing to childhood obesity.

  14. My kids do not like breakfast sausage in any form so this would be a huge waste. Like others posted I assume that the point of this type a meal is to provide nourishment, calories and convenience at one time.
    Last week I was speaking with a cafeteria worker at my school and asked if we even serve breakfast. We do not. Overall the lunches are doable. I prefer to pack for my 3 just the same. I have more control over what they are eating. Our cafeteria serves the hot mail dish, or the following options : PBJ on white bread, hot dog or chef salad of the week.
    My kids only get to buy occasionally and only a meal I know they will eat the hot dish. I refuse to pay 2.00/day for a PBJ or a hot dog. 2/3 would not pick the salad voluntarily.
    I am also the mean mom who does not send in the .60 to be spent on an ice cream treat:)…

    Thank you for all your info on this blog!

  15. we had these in middle school….urgh. I remember seeing "pancake on a stick" on the menu and i was curious so i tried it. I expected…actual round pancakes that were just on sticks to make them more fun and appealing to kids, but no it was this monstrosity. Terrible. Wouldnt eat it as a kid, wouldnt eat it now. These are also available to buy in stores, i think under the jimmy dead brand. This kinda food reminds me of another terrible food we had, breakfast pizza, a pizza crust stopped with cheese, sausage, and egg. It was awful. Like a comment above me mentioned, probably this kind of food is designed to make it easy and quick to give kids all the necessary food groups. also remember that we had much less time to eat school breakfast than lunch

  16. Um, yuck. Not only is the food void of nutrition, but the mere fact that we can't serve breakfast in a dignified manner suggests schools think of the children as animals. Sure, they need to be taught how to eat and not make a mess, but isn't that what childhood is all about? I'm not sure feeding them food on a stick will ever quite help them sit at a business lunch or snag a mate over a cup of coffee.

  17. The idea of syrup getting everywhere makes me wince, too, but you know what? I love corn dogs, and I agree with Brooke's comment above that they're trying to accomplish a pancake-and-sausage breakfast with minimal mess and maximum convenience.

    Without knowing what's actually in the product, we might assume the worst, that it's all refined flours and sugars and salt and preservatives, but the concept alone doesn't bother me in the least. Some carbs and some protein and fruit juice? Sounds like the breakfast we'd want for our kids to get them started on their day.

  18. When I read the comments from people who hate this food because it looks like it tastes bad…I wonder if the school lunch movement hasn't gone off the rails a bit. The ideas are too important to let this become an echo chamber of backseat drivers. Isn't judging food by appearance kind of the opposite of everything a food movement tries to accomplish?

    The breakfast 'corndogs' I buy regularly at the store are absolutely delicious (without syrup!). In the time it takes to microwave one, I pour a glass of 100% juice (or start peeling an orange, etc). I've experimented for a few years with other ways to get some meat protein at breakfast without eggs, and every breakfast food I've tried costs several times as much, requires several times as much prep time, or comes with several times as much grease and fat.

    I think mhaithaca hits the nail on the head: this meal is much closer than some of you realize to an ideal school breakfast option working within real-world time and monetary constraints. Ditch the syrup and aim for 'corndogs' with as few unnecessary additives as possible, and I'd call that a success.

  19. I'm surprised by how many of the commenters have not seen these before! Sooo many schools serve them.

  20. I used to eat these things all the time when I was little and I lived to tell the tale, haha. While it may not be even close to the healthiest thing out there to eat, it's still better than no breakfast at all. As a fellow teacher, I understand how little money schools have for extra things (heck the district I'm in is deciding if principals are even needed) so any breakfast is better than none at all.

  21. I have seen ads for them, but have never purchased them for my children. If we want pancakes and sausage, I make real pancakes and sausage. Children need to learn table manners and giving them all their food on a stick doesn't accomplish this.

    I don't know what brand of pancake & sausage on a stick this school is using, but looking up the ingredients in the Jimmy Dean version on the web, I don't think I would ever buy them. From Labelwatch:

    If you have limited time or money for a meal, make something simple like oatmeal or yogurt with fruit instead of using processed foods like this one.

  22. It reminds me of a TERRIBLE year of school…someone had it in there minds that kids will like ANYTHING if it is on a stick! Fajita Stickwiches, Cheeseburger on a Stick, and I think the Pancakes were served for breakfast. Those lunches were mostly tossed since no one could stomach the awful 'Stickwiches'. After a few attempts, these disappeared off the menu.

  23. Looks pretty gross. I'd have taken my "pancake" off the "stick" too and just eaten that… or, really, I'd have gone without. lol

  24. I definitely remember eating those back in middle school. I totally threw up after eating one 🙁

  25. I stopped putting syrup on my waffles and pancakes after reading the nutrition facts on the bottle. I couldn't believe the amount of Calories. I switched to honey after that.

  26. Bingo Dave. Bingo. Hit it right on the head with that comment.

    And this agreement is coming from someone who was once literally served a corndog for school breakfast.

    It's kind of funny to read all of the comments since Mrs. Q started casually photographing breakfasts. It's like you guys have gotten so pessimistic that you're failing to process the concept that kids who once started their day with a doughnut and a coke are now eating pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice… albeit in a more convenient manner given time constraints and logistical issues.

    At this point, Mrs. Q could probably photograph fresh-baked blueberry muffins and you guys would scream that we don't need to feed our kids something that resembles a cupcake. :rolleyes:

  27. I agree with Dave too. And to Address the comment about letting their kids go hungry rather than eating this , you sound pompous and rude. Have YOU ever been made to go hungry. How is a child supposed to succeed in the classroom if all they can think about is their growling tummy.
    We ahve to remeber this is for our kids NOT us. Yes we want to try and feed them as close to the source as possible , but what it all comes down to , is that some of these kids wont get anything at all unless the schools provide it. That does not mean one or two days where they are too busy to eat breakfast or soemthing along those lines , but EVERYDAY these kids have a struggle to find food.
    So really , maybe we should rethink sometimes.Yes the sugar is an issue , and yes it's highly processed , but lets get back to the source and the point here. This is to make sure the kids have eaten at all , because in the end it's about THEM not US!

  28. Right, it is about THEM. And I would hope that we don't want THEM to suffer from childhood obesity and diabetes. Obesity is more common in lower income groups because the lowest quality food is the cheapest thanks to the government subsidies of the soybean and corn industries. Now, it appears we are subsidizing Jimmy Dean or whoever manufactured the pancake on a stick. I do not think that kids should go hungry, but I think we need to put more thought and $$ into the food that we (society through the government) give our children.

  29. I really used to like reading the comments on your blog, Mrs. Q. I do feel now that it is really divided between those who can afford and do provide the very best for their kids and those who cannot afford yet still are doing their best.

    I don't have children because I chose not to. I know that I'm missing out on many of the most wonderful experiences human beings can enjoy. I don't want the financial burden. I don't want the time and emotional burden and I certainly don't want the burden of being the "Right Kind" of parent in our crumbling society.

    Parents no longer parent their kids; it's evident in the downfall of our education system, the horrible behavior of many children, the lack of boundaries set by parents, lack of discipline, lack of caring, overscheduling of activities, etc…Parents don't even want to be around their kids anymore…give them video games, feed them fast food, don't read to them, don't teach them to be self-sufficient and kind.

    I've decided I don't want to read the blog anymore; it makes me too disappointed in my fellow man…it seems that we are a society of breeders. It would make sense if we were producing worthwhile members of our communities; we are not. We are producing rude, self-centered, fat, lazy, and closed-off "people" – not human beings.

  30. Perfect example that we, as a society, have traded our health for convenience.

    I can't think of anything more convenient than all of my food on a stick! I can't think of anything more unhealthy than the pictures you've provided.

    I would have loved or you to have confirmed what type of meat that really was. The more I visit this blog, the more I am disappointed at parents. How is it possible that they don't wake up 10-15 minutes earlier to make a quick breakfast at home and a lunch for their children to take to school?

    Kevin :: Glycotrainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer
    Web Site:

    1. Well, some families can not afford healthy meals. I find it so ignorant AND arrogant when stuck up parents whine about why all parents can’t make their kids an organic chia seed smoothie or fresh expensive granola every morning.

      “Why can’t parents just take a few minutes to prepare a healthy organic meal for their kids every morning?”

      Are you stupid? If you’re so adamant to have healthy meals prepared for all kids, get off your lazy butt and chip in some of your own money. People like you are seriously so oblivious to the daily struggle so many families face.

  31. O yeah I remember these creations very well hahahaha. I was first introduced to them in 2nd grade at the Chimayo elementary, New Mexico. They weren't too bad because we actually had them homemade there at the school, much better than the frozen ones haha. The best ones are with blueberries in them hahaha.

  32. I looked at those once a week for a year. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a corn dog. I don’t understand how all of that sugar is supposed to improve focus.

  33. We had those growing up. They were disgusting. I only ever ate one, and it was when I was extremely hungry at school once and desperate. I didn’t like it, and it was in high school. It wasn’t big enough to make a filling thing to eat on its own anyway, and syrup did NOT improve the taste.

  34. Please help! I’m an Eight grader in Georgia and our middle school breakfast is worse than this elementary school food. The lunch ladies take no pride in their food and serve crap to us . The burgers and dried out and bland along with any other meat. Their “tacos or enchiladas” are just the mashed up , disgusting pizzas we get everyday rolled up and put into a soft taco wrapping. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING ANY OF THIS.

    1. Why not eat breakfast at home and make your own lunxh at home for school? I do not see the point of eating a school breakfast or lunch unless you cannot afford to eat at home.

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