Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, Nutritional Development Services (NDS) helps nearly 7,600 students start every school day with a nutritious breakfast. To encourage students to take advantage of the healthy choices available with school breakfast, NDS participated in this year’s National School Breakfast Week (NSBW).

The NSBW campaign theme, “School Breakfast Challenge,” reminded the entire school community that breakfast provides a healthy, energizing start to the day. Students from Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Michael the Archangel, and Presentation B.V.M. took the challenge by completing fun puzzles and activities with their classmates.

Ms. Brooke Mullen, Assistant Director of Community Relations for NDS said, “Breakfast is critical for children, as they require energy for growth and development as well as for play and learning.  Children who eat breakfast regularly have longer attention spans, improvement in test scores, and increased cognitive function.” In addition, Ms. Mullen said, “The School Breakfast program helps alleviate several barriers to breakfast consumption in children, including food insecurity (lack of access to food) early school hours, lack of time, and two-parent working families.”

NDS makes The School Breakfast Program available to students at no cost in 84 elementary and high schools throughout the region. School Breakfast provides a student with a quarter of their daily calories and key growth nutrients. A typical breakfast consists of a whole grain entrée such as an apple-cinnamon muffin, mini maple pancakes, or an egg and cheese bagel; a half-pint of low-fat or fat-free milk; and two servings of fruit, such as fresh fruit, applesauce, raisins, or one hundred percent fruit juice.