School breakfast week challenges students to ‘go for gold’

School cafeterias across the country next week (March 5-9) will celebrate National School Breakfast Week by hosting “School Breakfast – Go for Gold,” a fun campaign designed to highlight how eating a balanced breakfast at school helps students shine.

Studies have shown that students who eat breakfast make greater academic gains, pay closer attention and behave better in class, and are less frequently tardy, absent or visiting the school nurse’s office. Eating breakfast is also positively linked with maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding health problems associated with obesity.

Maine offers breakfast in 90 percent of schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. On average, Maine schools serve 41,000 breakfasts per day.

Federal nutrition standards for school breakfast limit fat content and portion size, and cafeterias are already working to meet new requirements for integrating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables into the breakfast menu.

To reach more students with these healthy breakfasts, many schools are launching breakfast-in-the-classroom programs, “grab-n-go” kiosks at the school doors, and breakfast-in-a-bag choices.

“School Breakfast – Go for Gold” will help cafeterias celebrate school breakfast programs with special menus and decorations, fun puzzles and school breakfast-related brain teasers to help students warm up their brains before they head to class. Kids will also have the opportunity to create their own school breakfast t-shirt designs highlighting the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.

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