A survey of school nutrition directors found that serving breakfast at school remains a challenge, especially with older students.
According to the survey, taken late last year by the School Nutrition Association, about 36 percent of students who eat school lunch participate in school breakfast programs—and that number represents a 43 percent increase since 2002.
To increase students’ participation, schools have introduced meals that students can take with them to class, offered meals students can eat in the hallway, started serving breakfast in the classroom, and started testing breakfast vending machines in high schools. So-called “grab ‘n’ go” breakfasts have been especially effective in increasing the number of program participants, the survey found, as was breakfast served in school hallways.
Some schools even serve breakfast between class periods or during snack breaks or study hall, according to the survey.
Nutrition directors said that for any of these options to work, they need the support of school administrators and staff, especially teachers and janitors.
A version of this article appeared in the March 30, 2011 edition of Education Week as School Breakfast