Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why Breakfast at School?

Most public schools now serve breakfast at their schools and a growing number are serving universal breakfast in the classroom. Our school does not. The reason? They don't have to. Because our district does not have a large population of kids on free or reduced lunch, they can opt not to serve breakfast by surveying the parents to demonstrate that demand for breakfast is below the limit set by federal guidelines.

Given the research on the importance not just of breakfast but potentially breakfast at school (See Why Breakfast? post), I think we should reconsider. Moreover, given that we have any kids at all entitled to a free school breakfast (and we do), we ought to at least provide that. To qualify for free lunch and breakfast, a family of four would have to earn less than about $30,000 a year, if I remember correctly. The breakfast for these kids would be entirely federally reimbursed. It could be as simple as milk, cereal and a banana.

The schools in Washington, DC are moving to universal, free breakfast in the classrooms - you can read about how it's going AND a program that sounds more successful in Berkeley at Chef Ed Bruske who writes most of their blog will be guest blogging here next week.

You can also read Free for All: Fixing School Food in America by Janet Poppendieck. It's terrific and addresses school lunch and breakfast in a comprehensive way ending with a strong argument for universal, free breakfast in the classroom. Plus - Prof. Poppendieck - a sociologist at Hunter College - will be speaking next Thurs (6/17) at the Huntington Cinema Arts theater after a showing of Two Angry Moms of which we're big fans.

If we can find a way to serve a nutritious breakfast without the added sugar of some programs, I think we should. Let me know if you agree or not and if you're willing to help me find a way.


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