Tips for promoting school breakfast programs

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 jamie.curley@maine.gov or 624-6666.