Although National School Breakfast Week is behind us, National Nutrition Month continues with a full calendar of awareness-raising nutrition highlights!
We want to express our thanks and appreciation to everyone who participated in our National School Breakfast Week celebration. On the blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter, we made new friends and new connections to spread the word that breakfast is going to change the world!
In the weeks leading up to National School Breakfast Week, we were able to talk to many school nutrition professionals and school administrators about the importance of school breakfast. You read our interviews with them here at Beyond Breakfast, but we do not always get to include everything in our blog posts. Here is a collection of some of our favorite “quotable quotes” on school breakfast, including never-before-published excerpts from various interviews. We hope the below round-up will inspire and motivate you to continue to champion school breakfast!
Jennifer DeHoog, Dallas ISD, TX
“One key to coalition building is that we focus on building community support. Early on we were out giving presentations and partnering with folks … who have similar messages to ours; organizations that get together to take a look at how we can address hunger issues. One of the ways we looked at to address childhood hunger is through breakfast-in-the-classroom.”
Read our recent interview with Jennifer DeHoog here.
Dora Rivas, M.S., R.D., L.D., Executive Service Director of Child & Nutrition Services, Dallas ISD, TX
“Seeing breakfast-in-the-classroom is the key to understanding it. The first thing I do when someone asks me about the program is invite them to see it. The process is so smooth; within ten minutes a whole campus of a thousand students will have breakfast-in-the-classroom. I don’t think that when you just say that people believe you, and once they see it they might have more logistic questions.”
Sandi Walter, Dr. Josephine Martin Endowment Winner, Maryville, TN
“One of the exciting things we are doing for breakfast is putting out fresh fruits, and we are seeing the students take them. This morning we had strawberries out there, and it’s really refreshing to see them enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables—I love watching the students take that fruit every morning when they go through the line. They comment about the color, which excites me! Breakfast is my favorite meal around here. I enjoy watching the students consume the healthy foods. Our breakfast is served before school, and I would say we have close to 20% participation. I would like to see that go up—we have lots of fun events that we throw to try to increase that participation. We got a little karaoke set here in the cafeteria and the kids enjoy coming in and singing karaoke in the morning after breakfast, so it’s a fun time.”
Read our recent interview with Sandi Walter here.
Dr. Josephine Martin, School Nutrition Rockstar
“People are recognizing that food is more than something to eat; that food, the consumption of food, the environment of food and consumption—these are things that have effects on the behavior of people. I’m very positive about the future and the direction of the [school nutrition] program. Where we are now with the CN programs, and Washington, and the position that Congress has taken, it is a challenge for all of us to build stronger foundations for local communities and schools: with farm-to-schools, which are local programs; school gardens, which we have to make sure parents and teachers are vested in. Those are some of the things that I think are very, very positive. I believe we will get nutrition education. Local schools and local communities should see this as a way to build ownership in the program. While we need federal funding and guidelines, in the final analysis it’s the parents, principals, and teachers [who matter]—it’s a local program, not just another federal program that needs money, but a program that invests in the future of local schools and communities. I would like to see that direction come about.”
Lori Watson Sanders, Field Coordinator, Floyd County, GA
“I think the biggest thing my ladies and I want people to know about breakfast in the classroom is that yes, it’s a little harder to start off with—you have to find your way to make sure things are going well. You have to work out all the kinks. But the main important thing is that the kids in these classrooms have a full tummy, with foods that are healthy and nutritious for them, and we know they are going to be able to learn, and pay attention, and when they go home at night they don’t have to worry about whether they will have breakfast the next morning because they will have it in their classroom. I really wish more schools would pick up breakfast in the classroom. Our parents love it, our teachers love it. I know more kids are getting food in their bellies to help them get though the day. You never know if these breakfasts and lunch are their only meals.”
Read our two part interview with Lori Watson Sanders: Part One & Part Two.