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Universal Breakfast for All

Katie Thomas,   Brookside Elementary School
Breakfast For Everyone — First Meal Matters
Access to Healthy Foods
Universal Breakfast for All
The biggest change at Brookside to support healthy eating for students is the universal breakfast program that was implemented this year. Breakfast is offered to all students daily at no cost to families regardless of free/reduced status. In addition, breakfast is now served from several different breakfast carts located throughout the school. Each cart is manned by a paraprofessional and a student leader. Students take their food items into the classroom eliminating any rushing to eat. Brookside is the only school within the district to offer free universal breakfast. The Food Service Director has been extremely supportive. A recent student survey revealed a large number of students missed having cereal as a breakfast option. The next week cereal was added back into the breakfast menu rotation. The food service director is always working to find nutritious items that are budget friendly. The breakfast carts were purchased through the FUTP 60 grant the school received this year. This has been a fantastic opportunity for not only the 63% free and reduced meal students but for all students at Brookside. Students eating a balanced breakfast minimizes negative behaviors and provides students with the nutrition needed for a great start to the day. Brookside has promoted healthy eating in a variety of ways including numerous taste testings coming from our Food Service Department, such as pizza and smoothies. Brookside has continued a partnership with Spectrum Health to promote healthy eating choices. Students participated in two 8-week long initiatives tracking the number of servings of fruits and vegetables they consumed and celebrating their successes. Brookside is very thankful for a partnership with Yoplait, which provides healthy yogurt options throughout the year.

How did you accomplish your goals?

By creating a plan and beginning with the end in mind, school administration, school staff, and the food administration director worked together to devise a plan that would bring free universal breakfast to all students and that could be sustained by the food service program after the conclusion of the school year.