The Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Services Team is offering tips for schools looking to grow their breakfast programs.
Some ways to promote school breakfast programs include:
- Announcements Promote breakfast in the announcements every morning, regardless of whether breakfast is served before or after. Repetition helps ensure awareness and interest.
- Newsletters Send information in a school or district publication to remind parents of the program.
- Poster Contest Have students create colorful breakfast posters like MyPlate posters or a picture of their favorite dish. They could even make a large sign indicating that every breakfast must include ½ cup fruit.
- Breakfast for Lunch Have a special Breakfast for Lunch Day featuring a typical breakfast meal to familiarize and attract kids with breakfast items. Lunch is a more widely participated in meal and this will expose kids to all that you can do for breakfast.
- Survey the Kids/Taste Tests Gather input from the kids in the form of a survey or breakfast advisory group to see what choices they would like to see; they are your customers, tailor your menu to their tastes (within reason). When introducing a new menu item, hold a taste testing opportunity. Let kids sample the items and vote on their favorites. Input is empowering.
- School Breakfast Task Force/Advisory Committee Create a subcommittee of your Wellness Committee or a separate group that brings together parents, administrators, students, teachers, food service staff, and local experts to push the breakfast agenda.
- Books n’ Breakfast Week Partner with the library and serve meals inspired by food-themed books such as Green Eggs and Ham, James and the Giant Peach, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Blueberries for Sal or If You Give a Moose a Muffin.
For more information or ideas, contact the Maine DOE’s School Nutrition Outreach Coordinator Jamie Curley at email@example.com or 624-6666.