Breakfast in the Classroom
Create a system for increasing breakfast participation by delivering reimbursable meals to classrooms for student consumption before or during class.
How Does It Work?
Make Your Case
First, you need to build your case.
It's important to convince teachers, administrators and parents that Breakfast in the Classroom won't disrupt the day.
- Consider making presentations to get teachers on board, or convince several teachers to test pilot Breakfast in the Classroom and then share how it went with other teachers.
- Use this video to show teachers how it is already working all over the country. For more help, use the research about the program's value found below in Tools and Resources.
- There is also information for your school nutrition professionals about the way you can make breakfast free for all students, which has been shown to dramatically increase participation.
- Invite teachers and parents to come to the cafeteria before school to see how long it takes students to get through the line. Invite parents back once you have Breakfast in the Classroom to see how orderly and quick it can be!
Plan your menu.
- Ask for help from your school health advisor or school wellness committee, if you have one.
- Work with your school nutrition professionals to create a menu of delicious, low-cost, nutrient-rich breakfast choices that are easy to package and transport to classrooms. Include low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, whole grains/oats, fruits and vegetables. Consider polling students or conducting taste tests to see what they would like. Sample menus are available in Tools and Resources below.
Consider inviting a local farmer to visit your school and join in student taste tests of the foods you are considering for the menu.
Get organized. Make a plan using lunch carts or wagons, and getting donations of insulated bags that can be delivered right to classrooms. Recruit a local grocery store, farm or restaurant that may be willing to provide donations of food items or funding. Put together a breakfast team of students who can help deliver the food.
Keep It Going
Look for ways to keep this program going and build on it — the goal is to make real, long-term changes in students’ habits.
- Try out one of the breakfast-at-school programs.
- Meet with your team regularly to talk about progress. Poll students and teachers to see what a difference you’re making.
- Track participation and set long-term goals.
Spread the Word
Get Others Involved
- Create awareness materials like posters and announcements
- Talk to local businesses to get their help with food or other donations
- Provide parents with information about the importance of breakfast
- Encourage parents to support breakfast in the classroom
Involve the community. Schedule a meeting with your school's parent organization and let them know what they can do to help. See our Homefield Advantage tips to help involve parents at school and at home.
Did You Know?
If your school has 40% or more students eligible for free or reduced breakfast, your whole school qualifies for the Community Eligibility Option for reimbursable breakfast and lunch. This means you can serve free meals to all students in the school, without collecting paper applications. It works.
Breakfast in the Classroom