National School Breakfast Week is celebrated the first week in March each year (March 6-10, 2023), and this year’s theme is to “Dig in to School Breakfast.” It’s a chance to celebrate school breakfast and reflect on the importance of breakfast in helping students achieve academic success. Studies have shown that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math, have higher scores on standardized tests, have better memory and concentration, take fewer trips to the nurse due to illness, and maintain a healthy weight.
The School Breakfast Program was initially piloted in 1966 through the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 with a nationwide program starting in 1975. In 1992, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released their first School Breakfast Scorecard which is released annually. FRAC’s Breakfast Scorecard analyzes participation trends, successes, and challenges with the program. Data from this scorecard have led to important initiatives and legislation related to school breakfast.
To ramp up for National School Breakfast Week, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and its SNT partners No Kid Hungry, Hunger Task Force, and School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin hosted the Wisconsin School Breakfast Challenge during the month of February (1-24, 2023). The Wisconsin School Breakfast Challenge is a statewide competition to increase fun, nutrition, and participation in the School Breakfast Program. Schools are encouraged to engage with students, school staff, parents and community members to complete breakfast-related activities which promote the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast at school. The winners of the challenge will be announced during National School Breakfast Week.
If you are interested in learning more about the School Breakfast Program, visit the School Breakfast Program webpage.
For more information, contact the School Breakfast Specialists at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction at DPISBP@dpi.wi.gov.
This story was submitted by Kristan O’Toole, Susan Bostian Young, and Haley Donlan, Wisconsin Department of Public School Nutrition Team’s School Breakfast Specialists.