Kids, get some brain food in March and eat breakfast

When: March 4 – 8, 2013

What: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so the old adage goes. It keeps a person fueled and able to focus and concentrate on important tasks all day long. This March, give children the gift of breakfast and make them aware of how significant the first meal of the day really is during National School Breakfast Week.

Background: Sponsored by the School Nutrition Association, National School Breakfast Week aims to encourage students to eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. The theme for 2013 is “Be a Star with School Breakfast.” Children are encouraged to eat a well-balanced breakfast in order to shine bright and remain sharp throughout the day.

Story Pitch: A wide variety of groups and organizations can help to encourage healthy breakfast habits while campaigning around this event. Schools of all types, from primary school to high school, will want to stress the importance of eating breakfast and offer healthy alternatives within the school. Doctors, pediatricians and school nurses would also do well to inform their parents and patients about proper nutritional choices and why breakfast is so important to a growing child. Nutritionists and dieticians can note the significance of early habits, such as eating a balanced breakfast, explaining that habits formed early can stick. Local eateries and grocers can also help by promoting their breakfast options and targeting school youth and their families.

Story Hook: According to the Centers for Disease Control, eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function, improved mood and reduced absenteeism. Consider the following when you make your pitch:

  • What foods are included in a well-balanced breakfast?
  • What ways can parents encourage their picky eaters to choose more fruits and veggies?
  • How can schools include more healthy choices on menus?
  • How can parents encourage children to make healthy eating choices when they are at school?

Tips: A pediatrician or nutritionist who deals specifically with children can provide insight on ways to feed a picky eater. In addition, a parent whose child eats a balanced breakfast every day can give tips on what foods to pack.

Resources:

Food and Nutrition Service
(703) 305-2062
www.fns.usda.gov

Healthy School Lunches
(202) 664-4804
hschoollunches(at)pcrm.org
www.healthyschoollunches.org

NEA Health Information Network
(202) 822-7570
info(at)neahin.org
www.neahin.org

School Nutrition Association
(301) 686-3100
servicecenter(at)schoolnutrition.org
www.schoolnutrition.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events