Welcome to MacGill School Nurse Supplies!


But First, Breakfast

A healthy breakfast is the foundation for healthy bodies and healthy minds.  Kids who get a nutritious breakfast are better prepared to learn and achieve greater academic success. They're more attentive, have more energy, and are able to think more clearly, and process information faster.  Consuming a balanced breakfast is also associated with fewer visits to the school nurse, lower rates of obesity, and lower incidence of psychosocial challenges.   Often called “the most important meal of the day” for a reason, not getting enough nutritious food early in the day is detrimental to a student's growth, cognitive learning ability, productivity, and overall health.  Schools have a responsibility to support all students in getting a healthy start by implementing and promoting school breakfast programs, educating students and families, and reducing other financial, time, or accessibility barriers to eating breakfast.

The federally funded School Breakfast Program provides millions of children a nutrient-rich and brain-fueling morning meal each school day.  Public or nonprofit private K-12 schools are typically eligible to participate in the School Breakfast Program.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) subsidizes school districts and independent schools that use the program for each meal they serve, as long as the breakfasts meet federal nutrition requirements and free or reduced-priced meals are available to eligible children.  To find out more, schools can contact their state board of education or other governing agency responsible for these programs.

Despite the millions of breakfasts served by the School Breakfast Program every school day, data shows that the program is largely underutilized and many students still lack access to the meal that is most essential to their learning, health, and overall well-being.  One of the leading factors contributing to low participation in school breakfast programs is the traditional model of serving breakfast before the start of school.  For this reason, schools might consider a Breakfast After the Bell model that addresses potential drawbacks to conventional breakfast programs including time constraints that don’t allow for students to arrive early to school, the perceived stigma associated with eating in the cafeteria, reduced social time with peers that may typically occur before school, and a possible lack of hunger due to early start times.

Whether making improvements to an established school breakfast program or starting a new model from scratch, collaboration and support from everyone in the school community is essential.  The school nurse can spearhead these efforts by championing the positive student health and academic benefits associated with a nutritious breakfast.  School administration and leadership, as well as the food service team, are key to developing practical strategies and driving successful implementation.  Faculty, staff, families, and students play an important role in providing feedback, offering suggestions, and identifying pain points or additional needs.

A school breakfast program sets every student up not only for a successful day at school but for a healthy future in which they can reach their full potential.  Everything valuable that kids get out of school can be compromised without a nutritious meal to start the day, making attention to breakfast an obligatory part of caring for and supporting the whole student while reducing barriers to learning.

Post your comment