Students at Wells Elementary School going through the cafeteria line to get breakfast in the morning.
Wells Elementary School students sitting in the lunchroom, enjoying their food provided to them by cafeteria staff. National School Breakfast Week, March 8-12, was celebrated in Jones County schools to bring nutrients and the importance of eating breakfast to students.
Roslyn Foster, Director of the Jones County School Nutrition Program, said she was excited for the students to try the different breakfast options and to learn why they needed to eat breakfast each day.
“National School Breakfast Week is set aside by USDA, and our food and nutrition services with the federal agency to recognize the thirty plus million breakfasts that are served each year throughout the year around the U.S. in a school setting,” she said. “Schools that participate in the school breakfast program often celebrate this collectively, so we can really stress the importance of breakfast as a start to the day.”
She said breakfast is important because students are much more attentive and have less behavioral problems in school. She said academic success is shown to be a huge benefit of eating breakfast, too.
“We believe breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. It breaks the fast, where the body has been sleeping all night and our bodies need something to get us going in the morning. We provide a lot of complex carbohydrates to sustain that energy and to promote that energy children need to learn,” Foster said.
The director said the ladies in the cafeteria came up with unique breakfast items for National School Breakfast Week, such as parfaits. She said the students also could have gotten honey buns, doughnuts, fruits, vegetables, and cereal. She said the menus at each school varied.
“All breakfast meals and lunch have been free this year. We encourage students to come through the line and look, even if they bring their own lunch or breakfast from home,” the director said. “Milk is 50 cents without a meal, but if they get a whole meal, that milk is free.”
Foster said the students always seem to enjoy National School Breakfast Week, and the schools enjoy planning for the week. She said it’s something different for the students.
“Some of our ladies did some exciting things, such as playing music and decorating their serving lines. They might have even dropped a special treat inside the breakfast bags, so I think the students really enjoyed this,” Foster said.
She said the students were provided with coloring activity sheets, so they could learn about the importance ofbreakfast in the classroom. She said they did announcements, too.
“We wanted to make this convenient for the child and parent, so all they had to do is get their child up, dressed and to school. We do know there have been children who haven’t gotten the food they need at home, so we have tried to fill that void,” she said.
The director said Wells Elementary school has the most students eating breakfast, and she’s always glad to see so many children enjoying their food in the morning. She said they still offer choices, so they get to make decisions and enjoy something different.
“My family has always eaten breakfast,” Foster said. “I was taught you always need something to eat in the mornings, so I really enjoy seeing the children getting the nutrients they need. I know how important that is at the beginning of the day.”