When Deb Underwood, the director of food service for the Milbank School District, says ”Help yourself,” she means two things. Breakfast is free for every student. And, breakfast can help your day go better.
Underwood and her staff serve between 225 and 250 breakfasts each school day. She says, “Hands down, the kids’ favorite is the sausage breakfast pizza.” The pizza is so popular, it appears on the menu every Thursday. It’s also Underwood’s number-one favorite breakfast to serve, which makes sense, when you consider she’s a cook, and for a cook to derive joy from cooking, people must actually love the food. Underwood laments, “It’s often hard to get kids to eat breakfast.” She believes kids think they don’t have time. She also believes adults don’t place enough emphasis on the benefits of breakfast.
Students who venture into the cafeteria between 7:30 and 8:10 a.m., however, dig into a hot breakfast four days of the week and a cold breakfast on Mondays. Typically, it’s juice, fruit, a grain, and a protein. The option of cereal, a granola bar, fruit, juice, and string cheese is always available. Milk is available, too, and can help increase the students’ protein intake. Underwood says, according to regulations, they must serve two ounces of protein daily, but they are not required to offer it at breakfast.
Research shows consuming breakfast before school offers big payoffs. Although no one is suggesting breakfast can replace studying, it just might give your grades a boost. Data distributed by the Journal of Economics indicates students who eat breakfast before school score 25 percent higher on math, reading, and science tests. Who knew a Bosco stick or an egg could help you get better grades?
This week, March 8-12, is National School Breakfast Week in the US. Why not do your own test? Eat school breakfast for a week or two and see what happens. It’s free for the rest of the school year. Just 10 minutes a day could change your life. And maybe even your GPA.
Check out this week’s Breakfast menu for Milbank schools:
MONDAY, March 8
Breakfast: Cereal, granola bar, string cheese, juice, fruit, milk
TUESDAY, March 9
Breakfast: Egg, cheese, sausage, biscuit, juice, fruit, milk
WEDNESDAY, March 10
Breakfast: Breakfast bosco stick, juice, fruit, milk
THURSDAY, March 11
Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, juice, fruit, milk
FRIDAY, March 12
Breakfast: No School