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School Breakfast: A Jump Start to a Great Day

kids eating school lunch
By Tony Craddock, Jr., Public Affairs Specialist, Food and Nutrition Service

How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day! School breakfast programs are critical in building a healthier future for America’s children.

But currently, only half of the children who eat school lunch also get their breakfast at school. Additionally, schools have voiced their need for additional support to serve breakfasts that meet the latest dietary guidance for children.

USDA values this feedback and has opened applications for the Fiscal Year 2023 School Breakfast Expansion Grants, which will provide schools with funds to prepare nutritious, appealing breakfasts with less added sugar and sodium, and more whole grains. These grants can also boost participation in school breakfast by making it available during the school day.

Why is breakfast important?

A Hungry Child is Not a Happy Child.
Children who eat breakfast have increased alertness and improved moods throughout the morning, making for a better learning experience in the classroom.

School Breakfasts are the Best!
On average, school breakfasts are more nutritious than breakfasts eaten elsewhere.

How can schools increase breakfast participation?

Increase Student Participation through Breakfast in the Classroom.
Over 40% of students who have never participated in USDA’s School Breakfast Program say they would do so, if eating in the classroom was an option.

Serve Healthy, Tasty, and Exciting Meals!
Partnering with local farmers to introduce fresh, homegrown products into breakfasts and inviting students to develop menu options can create breakfasts that students can’t wait to eat!

What’s next?

States and Territories are Encouraged to Apply.
$6 million in School Breakfast Expansion Grants is available to U.S. states and D.C., while $3 million is available to U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. Applications are due July 24, 2023, and awards will be made later this year.

Page updated: June 24, 2024