Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Better with
Starting the School Day
with a Healthy First Meal

              All students deserve
              to start their school
              day with a belly full
               of nutritious food.
Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
A day without breakfast
can carry heavy consequences.
Food is only nutritious when
eaten and increasing the
chances for students to enjoy
breakfast can be just as
important as offering
school breakfast.

     Key School Breakfast Strategies
            Table of Contents
Win Over Your Audiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                 2
Market & Merchandise Breakfast
 to Your Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Alternate Serving Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                7
Menus & Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

Additional promotion resources are available for download at:

  Talking Points with Teachers
                                              W
                                                  eekday Digital Menu Board
  Tips for Administration
                                               Slides
  Bulletin Board Ideas
                                              Images
                                                      for cafeteria menus,
                                                 newsletters, and social media
  Parent Newsletter

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Win Over Your Audiences
Let everyone know how school breakfast leads to success!
It is important to gain support from individuals taking part
in your program, those that can create positive change for
your program, and those directly or indirectly affected by
your program. As you work to gain buy-in, the chances for
success grows.
Messaging and approach need to change to appeal to the
specific audience you are trying to win over with your school
breakfast program.

Strategies to Appeal to STUDENTS
   Bring breakfast to where and when the students spend
   time together.
   Give them a second chance to enjoy breakfast, when hunger
   starts to kick in.
    Offer items inspired by trendy restaurants, like hot breakfast
   sandwiches, build-your-own smoothie stations or made-to-
   order lattes with milk.
   Host contests and challenges with prizes available to those
   enjoying breakfast.
   Invite special guests and local celebrities’ students would
   be excited to see to help serve breakfast or enjoy breakfast
   with students.
   Get students involved – find out why certain menu choices
   are popular, work together to create promotions to their
   peers, and tap into student creativity with breakfast-inspired
   art, posters, or videos.
   Stress the nutritional benefits of eating breakfast on
   performance – academically and athletically. Learn
   more from Robert Murray, MD, FAAP and how
   high-quality nutrition impacts learning at:

Spread Awareness to PARENTS & GUARDIANS
   Communicate clearly and often – and don’t stop!
 Meet parents everywhere they are seeking information:
   social media, websites, newsletters, emails, parent teacher
   conferences, sporting events and theater nights to start.
   Invite parents into your kitchens and cafeterias, virtually or
   physically. Host a school meeting in the cafeteria, shoot a
   short video of meal prep time, or invite them to join their
   student at breakfast.
Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Spread Awareness to PARENTS & GUARDIANS, continued
  Highlight the benefits of school breakfast: 1,2
       improves overall nutrition
        more likely to maintain a healthy weight
        increases academic achievement and test grades
  Encourage menu reading with younger students to know
   all options included at breakfast.
  Focus on time savings for families when don’t have to worry
   about what to make for breakfast before students head off
   to school.

 on Your Side
  Gain buy-in from school staff to support school breakfast
   participation for all students.
  Highlight the nutrition school breakfast provides.
  Focus on the benefits: Helps to improve test scores, reduce
   behavioral problems, and creates calmer classrooms.4
  Keep staff informed of their role in school breakfast and
   provide easy 1-2-3 steps for success.
  Encourage open communication and gain feedback,
   especially if serving breakfast in the classroom, as it can
   change instructional time.
  Start small, be realistic and personalize it – enhancing a
   breakfast program could be more trial and error until you
   find the best fit for your school’s needs!
  Present a compelling case to get key stakeholders on your
   side, including considerations for schedule changes, cost
   analysis, and participation data.
  Share the facts: Millions of kids in America don’t get enough
   food at home with 1 out of 4 children struggling with hunger.
   Hungry children cannot learn.4,11
   Learn more at

  Inspire positive role modeling by encouraging
   staff to enjoy breakfast with students.
  Highlight examples of
   successful breakfast                        Make school breakfast
   programs happening                        available for ALL students.
   in schools nearby or                   Work towards reducing shame
   across Michigan.                      in enjoying a free meal at school,
                                              so those in need are not
                                               identifiable by others.
Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Market & Merchandise to Your Students
How will students know about the great items you have to offer
at school breakfast if you are not marketing your program? We
live in a world where we eat with our eyes first. Reach students
with marketing and advertising to build up anticipation and
leave them begging for breakfast at school each morning! A
multi-pronged marketing approach is essential for success of
your program.

VISUALS – We first eat with our eyes!
 Display eye catching flyers and posters throughout the
   school building.
  I
    nvolve students in creating posters and signs.
  Put together a sample breakfast plate for students as they
   come through the line. Snap a photo of the sample plate
   and feature it printed or digitally!
  Serve breakfast at lunch to showcase great menu
   options available!
  Create bulletin boards merging breakfast with popular
   themes – make it fun and keep it simple.
  Display fun graphics on cafeteria menus or put in
   school newsletters.
  Embrace themes to inspire breakfast promotions: holidays,
   special occasions, or favorite books and TV shows.
  tay in tune with popular fads – what are students
   gravitating towards outside of school? Consider adding
   customization options to menu choices.
  Whatever space breakfast is being served and eaten – in
   the classroom, cafeteria, or hallway – make it appealing and
   enjoyable for students.

DIGITAL – Technology at our fingertips
 Spread the word about school breakfast through
   social media.
  Sample Posts Available to Use and Tailor for your Audience:
 Fuel up with breakfast each day, filling your tank with
   [insert breakfast menu options available, i.e., smoothies,
   lattes, and cereal] – all starring your favorite drink, milk!
  ave you heard the moos? Breakfast is available for ALL
   students at [insert school name] School!

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
DIGITAL – Technology at our fingertips, continued
 Don’t go to class #hangry, grab school breakfast to help
   you stay full until lunchtime!
  reate short videos of school breakfast choices and share
   what students can expect if they enjoy breakfast at school.
  ry out online meal ordering applications (apps) – free
   apps are available (i.e., Google docs/forms, Microsoft forms,
   Remind app).
  ighlight breakfast through existing school communication
		   	Automated call/text messages, like families would receive for
       important school announcements like snow days
		   	“ On
          hold” phone messages while waiting to speak to school
       administrative staff
		   	PA   Announcements
		   	School and Community Websites – drive users to information,
       like service times and menus, on multiple webpages.
		   	Newsletters

		   	In-school   TV Monitors
		   	Social   Media
  et on the agenda to share updates about school breakfast
   during other meetings: Parent teacher organizations/
   associations, athletics, staff meetings, parent-teacher
   conferences, school and community events, and more.

CHALLENGES – Generate interest
  ppeal to competitive nature – consider contests between
   rivalry schools within your district, or partner with a
   neighboring district to help encourage participation.
  ffer cash rewards or prizes to schools or districts that
   achieve the largest increase in participation.
  ngage student organizations and other departments to
   help with breakfast promotions. For example, team up
   with the school marketing class to create a new advertising
   campaign, or partner with the art department for a poster
   contest. Collaborative efforts across departments can help
   increase buy in and support common goals.
  Award and recognize adults for supporting your contest.
 Engage students in a Junior Chef competition – let them
   develop and submit recipes that meet school meal
   guidelines and include fruits, whole grains, and milk!

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
CHALLENGES – Generate interest, continued
  Ideas and themes:
		    	Place
             a sticker on a carton of milk to randomly award
        students that select a ‘lucky milk.’
		    	Customizea “Golden ticket” to put into grab and go meal
        bags for students to turn in for a prize.
		    	Involve
               students into menu tastings and creating fun names
        for new choices.
		    	Workwith a variety of student groups to create your
        marketing tools like posters, flyers, or videos– coordinate with
        the art department to help with signage; choir & band to
        develop a jingle; athletic teams to advocate; classrooms to be
        breakfast champions!
   Feature your success – everyone likes
		 recognition!                                                  Be sure to
                                                              advertise across
   Celebrate your success – give credit                     multiple platforms
		 to all involved!                                         and include contest
   romote the challenge – communicate,                        timeline and
    communicate, communicate!                                  details before
SUPPORT – Rally your resources
  ponsor a breakfast for teachers, principals, and
    superintendents to educate on the benefits of
    school breakfast and feature your menu to encourage
    support for your breakfast program.
   I
     nvite local celebrities, student athletes, parents, mascots,
    and others to join students for breakfast. Positive role
    modeling can have an impact at any age.
   each out to local newspapers and media to promote your
    program and share out special events.
   onsult your colleagues on their experience. Schools all
    over the state are seeing success with school breakfast;
    find out what has worked and not worked for their school
    breakfast participation and brainstorm ways to make it
    work for your building needs.
   elegate funds for equipment that can increase
    opportunities to reach students to serve more breakfasts,
    like a cart in the hallway or rolling coolers to deliver to
    the classroom.*
*Grants may be available at

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Alternate Serving Models
Just as lunch is part of the actual school day, consider moving
breakfast to be part of the school day too. For every 10 students
who each school lunch, only 4 (43%) take part in school
breakfast 10. Providing students with different, or even multiple,
opportunities to enjoy breakfast at school can help increase
participation. Each school is unique and may have diverse
needs, so keep in mind different models may work for different
buildings, even within the same district.

  Breakfast                                   Breakfast
  after the                                   on the
  Bell                                        Bus

                       Breakfast in
                       the Classroom

           Grab                                Breakfast
           and Go                              Vending
           Breakfast                           Machines

   Want to see how real schools took these models
             and put them into action?
      Michigan Team Nutrition Success Story Compendium

            No Kid Hungry: Center for Best Practices

       Videos: Michigan School Breakfast Success Stories

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
Menus & Recipes
Be proud of the food you serve at school breakfast! A menu
can be one of your most powerful tools to share not only what
is being served, but can entice students, parents, and faculty to
enjoy breakfast at school.
Kids like having choices. Plan a menu that offers variety of
healthy options to choose from and display it in creative
way. Keep it fresh and changing! Consider limited time
offer items to keep on trend with what is popular at local
restaurants. Borrow ideas from hot spots that students
would typically eat at – think ramen bowls, build-your-own
choices, and customization.
Use technology to your advantage. Use apps to create a
pre-order method for secondary schools, or design fun menu
boards to display on TV monitors, websites and more to reach
your families.
Survey your students to help find foods they want to eat.
Adjust the menu to reflect their suggestions or serve special
meals that have favorite food items and make sure it is
advertised! Students love to be recognized for their bold,
new ideas!
We eat with our eyes first. Consider displaying a sample
plate so students can see what is offered under that pan lid
for the day. Snap a photo and share pictures of the sample
plates throughout the week. Get students familiar with the
foods served on the menu to entice them to enjoy breakfast
at school.

                  Recipe ideas can be found at
                     Use the filter “school”.

Better with Breakfast - Starting the School Day with a Healthy First Meal All students deserve to start their school day with a belly full of ...
DIY Apple Pie
Overnight Oats                    Ingredients
         Yield: 50                3
                                   qt. + ½ cup quick oats
    10 fl. oz servings            6
                                   qt. + 8 oz low-fat vanilla
                                   cups + 4 oz low-fat milk
                                   #10 cans unsweetened applesauce
                                   Tbsp + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

   In a large mixer, combine 3 quarts + ½ cup quick oats, 6 quarts
     + 8 ounces low fat vanilla yogurt, 6 cups + 4 ounces low fat milk
     and 2 tablespoons + ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
2. Stir in 2 #10 cans of unsweetened applesauce
3.	Using a measuring cup, portion overnight oats into cups. Place
     lids on cups and chill overnight, maintaining a temperature of
     41°F or below.
4.	In the morning, serve chilled and garnish with a sprinkle
     of cinnamon.

                                  Coffee Cooler
                                   Yield: 16 – 13 oz
Ingredients                           servings
   4
    lb. low-fat vanilla yogurt
   1
     6 cups skim milk
   2
    cups sugar free caramel syrup
   2
    – ½ Tbsp instant coffee granules
   Add yogurt, 4 cups milk, syrup, and instant coffee powder to a
     2 gallon or larger container: whisk until completely smooth.
2.	Add remaining 12 cups milk and whisk until fully incorporated.
3.	Divide evenly between 16 serving cups (13 oz each) and cover;
     serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Childhood Obesity 180 at Tufts University, The Breakfast Effect, 2013. https://
 Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), School Meals are Essential for
Student Health and Learning, August 2019.
 No Kid Hungry: Center for Best Practices, School Breakfast: The Impact of
Breakfast After the Bell, 2021.
 National Dairy Council, Fluid Milk in School Meal Programs, January 1, 2015.
 No Kid Hungry, Hunger Devastates Children: Facts on Childhood Hunger in
America, 2016.
 United Way for Southeastern Michigan and No Kid Hungry, Better with
Breakfast, 2021.
 USDA Food and Nutrition Service, School Breakfast Program (SBP) Fact
Sheet, March 31, 2019.
 USDA Food and Nutrition Service, School Breakfast Program: Make Breakfast
First Class Infographic, November 24, 2020.
 USDA Food and Nutrition Service, School Breakfast Program: Marketing
Ideas, July 24, 2013.
 Michigan Department of Education and United Way for Southeastern

Michigan, Better with Breakfast, 2021.
 Feeding America, Child Hunger Facts, 2021.

  No Kid Hungry Starts with Breakfast, Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social
Impact Analysis.
  National Institutes of Health, The effects of breakfast on behavior and
academic performance in children and adolescents, 2013. https://www.ncbi.
 USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Nutrition Standards for School Meals,

September 23, 2019.
 Harvard School of Public Health, Study shows kids eating more fruits,

veggies, March 4, 2014.

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