School Breakfast Programs
A Healthy Choice to Start Each Day
When my children were attending public school, many of the schools in our city had a breakfast program called The Breakfast Club, which are still going strong today.
Breakfast is provided for all children that want something to eat before the first bell rings. I volunteered at two schools that provided this program, and I have to say it is fantastic.
Some people think that Breakfast Clubs are only for the poor and underprivileged children. This is not the case. Any child that attends the school where this program is offered, is welcome to eat for free, five days a week, should they choose to do so. No one is ever turned away.
Many times children are left to get their own breakfast before leaving for school due to parents working, and they will tend to skip breakfast, or they do not have the skills to make their own. On those days that the household sleeps in and there's a mad rush to get everyone off to school there's not always enough time to eat. Some children may have a long bus ride to school and didn't have enough breakfast at home to fill them up. Having a breakfast program in your school can ensure that your child starts his or her day off with a nutritional breakfast.
Breakfast Club Foods
Depending on the size of the school, facilities within the school and how each school is funded for this program, will determine what types of food each one may offer.
The first school that I volunteered at had a kitchen right off the gymnasium, therefore we were able to set up tables and chairs for the kids to sit at while eating. We provided fruit, cheese, toast, bagels, English muffins, jam and honey for toast, cold and hot cereals, fruit bars, along with milk and juice.
The second school where I volunteered did not have a kitchen. When the Breakfast Club first started up we held it in one of the rooms that was also used as a reading room. A refrigerator, microwave, along with dishes, utensils, and a few toasters were all donated so that we could provide breakfast and lunch for children that had not eaten or had forgotten their lunches.
Many of the schools that offer breakfast also offer lunch at no cost to the students. Some schools will serve eggs and pancakes as well as what I listed above.
Funding For Breakfast Clubs
- In our community, schools rely on food and drink donations from various sources such as local businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and parents.
- Fund raisers are held.
- Money donations come from the community.
The Benefits of Children Eating Breakfast
The child will perform better and possibly obtain higher grades.
The child's concentration is better.
The child will have more energy.
Hand-eye coordination tends to be better.
Alertness is higher.
Children are more likely to take part in physical activities.
The child is less likely to feel hungry thoughout the day.
Eating breakfast will help to maintain a healthy weight.
Children that eat breakfast overall tend to be healthier than those that skip breakfast.
Starting a Breakfast Program
There is a non profit national organization in Canada called, The Breakfast Club of Canada. Each school must meet certain criteria in order to apply for this program.
If you would like to see a breakfast program in your child's school, I would suggest bringing it up with either the PTA, school officials, or the School Board.
What is needed before setting up a breakfast club?
- An area to prepare food.
- Tables and chairs for the children to sit while eating.
- Stove, hotplates, or microwave.
- Toasters or toaster ovens.
- Dishes, glasses and utensils.
- A storage cupboard to keep food and dishes in.
- Counter or a table to use for preparing the food.
- Sinks for washing, sterilizing, and cleanup.
- Cleaning supplies, dish clothes and towels.
- Find out what the health and safety regulations are in your specific area.
- Inquire about any special type of Insurance or permits you may need.