To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available at school breakfast — and to showcase some of the new options available to students in their cafeterias — Watauga County School celebrated National School Breakfast Week March 2-6.
Busy weekday mornings can make it a challenge for some families to find time for a healthy breakfast at home. However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias.
According to the USDA, students who start their day with breakfast at school, reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math, score higher on standardized tests demonstrate better concentration and memory, are more alert and maintain a healthier weight.
Monica Bolick, Watauga County Schools Director of Child Nutrition said she and her staff were excited for school breakfast week and some of the new opportunities being offered to students, including a “second chance breakfast” that gives older students another opportunity to eat once the school day has begun.
“I am so excited for the opportunity that these alternative breakfast options offer our students each day,” Bolick said. “Our families should find comfort in knowing that their students have access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast once they arrive at school.”
Bolick said second chance breakfast had been particularly successful in ensuring each student got plenty to eat.
“Breakfast isn’t always the first thing students think about when they arrive at school in the morning, so offering a “second chance” breakfast has proven to be very successful for students who prefer to eat a little later,” Bolick said.
Along with second chance breakfast at Watauga’s K-8 schools, Watauga High School is offering students new breakfast options kicking off on National School Breakfast week. Students will have the opportunity to purchase items from breakfast kiosk carts stationed at the bus and car rider entrances of the school. The kiosks offer a changing menu of entrees with milk, juice and fruit. Students are able to take items from the carts on their way to class each morning.
Bolick said alongside the new breakfast options being offered, Watauga County Schools cafeterias were still serving traditional breakfast to hundreds of students before class begins each day. She said with all the opportunities for students to eat at school, she hoped that families would encourage their students with their peers in the mornings and feel less rushed trying to prepare a meal before leaving home.
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