One of the more persistent myths about breakfast-in-the-classroom is that schools only serve cold or pre-packaged, heat-and-serve items. In fact, many schools are using scratch and speed-scratch preparation for school breakfast—and yes, for breakfast-in-the-classroom! It’s easier than it seems, and there are a host of potential benefits:
- Improved perception of school food
- Increased participation
- Lower food costs
- Staff pride (buy-in)
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom are always on the lookout for great scratch and speed-scratch recipes suitable for breakfast-in-the-classroom. Our friends at Garfield Heights City Schools in Ohio have found great success with two varieties of omelet sandwich served on home-style biscuits; an Egg & Cheese Omelet with Peppers & Onions, and a Florentine Omelet are both wildly popular with students. We reached out to Lauryn Palgut (MS, RD, LD), a K-12 nutrition consultant with Pisanick Partners who serves as lead dietitian for Garfield Heights schools to find out more about their speed-scratch breakfast-in-the-classroom menu items.
“We wanted to use Breakfast in the Classroom as a platform to show that there’s more to breakfast than quick grab-n-go, pre-packaged foods,” said Palgut. “Although the preparation requires a little extra labor and effort, it shows the kids that we value them and want them to enjoy their meal with us.”
Communicating with students about their food preferences helps the Garfield Heights school nutrition staff populate the menu with items kids will eat.
“The most effective way for us to dial in to student preferences is simply by talking to them,” said Palgut. “Not only does BIC allow us to feed more children, it gives our employees the opportunity to interact with students, one-on-one, every day. We learn from them – what they like, what they don’t like. We’ve also used more formal platforms such as student surveys and suggestion boxes. Our breakfast menu is on a two-week cycle, which allows us to identify trends and student preferences fairly quickly.”
Offering students wholesome, scratch and speed-scratch food during breakfast-in-the-classroom pays off for school nutrition staff in terms of student satisfaction and participation. When participation numbers rise, the extra work pays off.
“We find students’ perception of value and their satisfaction is greater when we balance nutrition that is appealing and ultimately fills them up. Protein and whole grains lead to fewer blood sugar spikes, and a feeling of satisfaction.”
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