Did you know students who have a healthy breakfast will be better learners? Starting children off with a nutritious breakfast provides them with approximately 25% of the energy and the nutrients they require for the day. Well nourished students are prepared to learn! Breakfast programs have been found to decrease student absenteeism, in-class disruptions, and to increase student performance. Research has demonstrated that students who start their day off with a healthy breakfast have higher academic performance. Breakfast programs also help to instill life-long healthy eating practices and reflect the Health Promoting School approach (Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection, 2007).
Benefits of Breakfast Programs
Breakfast programs are more than just feeding children. Breakfast programs contribute to students' physical and mental well-being in many ways including:
- improving nutritional status and supporting healthy living through healthy food choices
- relieving stress in students who may worry about being nourished in the morning
- helping students to be more attentive and energetic learners
- providing an important social element by bringing students together for a common meal
- providing opportunities for student leadership to build self esteem, discover a sense of belonging and giving back to the school community
- allowing staff and adults to engage with youth in a positive way outside the classroom
Breakfast Program Resources
Breakfast Program Newsletter December 2013: updates for HRSB breakfast programs.
Budgeting for Breakfast Programs: how to determine the yearly costs of a breakfast program and maximize food dollars while ensuring nutritious foods are served
Sweetened Grain-Based Snacks: a guide to choosing granola bars, cereal bars, snack bags and biscuits (Thanks to Breakfast Clubs of Canada for sharing this resource)
Breakfast Program Support Ideas: ideas for reaching out to community partners to support breakfast programs
Maximum Nutrition Dry Cereal Choices: suggestions for healthy cereal choices that fit Maximum Nutrition criteria from the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Public Schools
Breakfast Program Nutrition Tips for Success: ideas for choosing healthy breakfast choices from the four food groups
Breakfast Program Food Safety Guidelines: food handler guidelines and tips for breakfast programs
Breakfast Program Theme Days: Thanks to Breakfast Clubs of Canada for providing these resources.
Additional support resources for breakfast program volunteers are available at myHRSB/document depot - Program/Education Quality & Accountability/Health Promotion/Breakfast Program Support
Breakfast Program Partners
Breakfast programs are encouraged to establish and maintain partnerships within the school and wider community to ensure program and financial sustainability. Engaging various funding partners is integral to program success.
Nourish Nova Scotia is a province-wide, non-profit organization that provides support through financial and educational resources to breakfast programs operating in Nova Scotia schools. Nourish Nova Scotia supports the the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Public Schools and the Nova Scotia Health Promoting Schools program. Together these initiatives help create a environment where students can become engaged learners and healthier Nova Scotians for life. Nourish Nova Scotia is the largest funder for HRSB Breakfast Programs and supports all 95 (and growing) programs.
Breakfast Clubs of Canada and HRSB established a partnership in 2010 to provide funding support to breakfast programs. Collaboration is done on a regular basis to provide support to HRSB breakfast programs.
Breakfast for Learning is another source of financial support for HRSB breakfast programs.
For more information or support, please contact, Jill White, HRSB School Nutritionist, firstname.lastname@example.org or (902) 464-2000 x2180.