Beyond Breakfast

Studies show a nutritious breakfast increases students’ performance and overall health while decreasing obesity, discipline problems and illnesses.

Instead of assuming children will eat breakfast at home, encourage them to eat together at school, just as they do for lunch. This helps eliminate any stigma surrounding disadvantaged children who may not have access to breakfast at home.

A school breakfast program can also increase jobs and give your school additional revenue through federal reimbursement.


  • Increases: Participation; sales of milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Enhances: School meal image
  • Engages: Students, teachers, nutrition staff, whole school
  • Enables: More access to food
  • Reduces: Student tardiness, nurse visits, behavior issues
  • Improves: Academic performance, your bottom line


  1. What are your free and reduced numbers?
  2. How many students are not eating breakfast and which method would best reach them?
  3. Do you have the support of your principal and staff?
  4. How will your staff’s roles and responsibilities change?
  5. How will you record meals served (i.e., checklist, roster, POS terminal, etc.)?
“Breakfast in the Classroom has empowered our students and improved their overall concentration, behavior, and academic performance. Absentees and tardiness have decreased and, in turn, participation at breakfast has increased.”
Alisha Jordan
Crowley ISD, Crowley, TX

Types of Breakfast Programs

  • Breakfast in the Classroom – Breakfast is served in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher. The meal is eaten and cleared during the first 10-15 minutes of class, while teachers either conduct administrative activities or begin the day’s lessons. This ensures that all students start the school day well-nourished and ready to learn.
  • Grab 'n' Go Breakfast – Districts provide pre-wrapped or bagged items at kiosks in popular student areas, making it easy for students to grab breakfast they can eat in the classroom or throughout the campus. The menu may vary from what is served on the breakfast line in the cafeteria, and may be cold or hot depending on the method of service.
  • Second Chance Breakfast – This option works best for middle and high schools. Schools can open breakfast lines during passing periods or set aside homeroom time for breakfast service to the classrooms.
  • Universal Free Breakfast – A program offering free breakfast to all students may be entirely funded by federal and state reimbursements. Schools with a high free and reduced population may even benefit financially from serving a universally free breakfast.

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Districts must comply with National School Breakfast Program rules and regulations and local health department food safety regulations.

Funding and Reimbursement

Funding provided from meal sales is based on reimbursement from the USDA NSBP program. Schools can generate additional funds by selling a la carte items at breakfast.