Many factors affect academic performance. However, when it comes to school nutrition, there is one obvious way to put “first things first:” BREAKFAST. Hungry students cannot be attentive, stay focused, or learn new material. Children must be well nourished and regularly fed in order to be ready to succeed.
The Mississippi Office of Healthy Schools, with generous support of The Bower Foundation, has made an outstanding commitment to the important connection between nutrition and school success. All of their work is based on the fundamental principle that Health is Academic. It has been a real honor to work with them over the past five years on a variety of projects, including many to help increase the number of Mississippi School Meals That Rock.
Here is a wonderful Mississippi example of putting first things first and making sure that students start the day right with a school breakfast in a Pascagoula elementary school. As we continue our conversation about what makes the optimal school nutrition environment for children, we must remember that a simple school breakfast can make all the difference in the world to a hungry child.
Jackson Elementary recognizes that breakfast helps children excel academically. They made breakfast a part of their school day by starting Breakfast-in-the-Classroom. The menu offers healthy, kid-friendly foods like low-fat string cheese, whole-wheat muffins, whole grain cereal-on-the-go, and fresh fruit. Breakfast participation increased by 14% within the first month! A special thanks to Ashley Harris and Dianna Krebs of Pascagoula School District for their leadership and commitment to healthy school meals.
Pascagoula School District