MORNING MEAL: New Breakfast Option For Area School

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We've all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's sometimes hard to find time to eat a healthy morning meal, especially if you're running late for work or school.

As part of National School Breakfast Week, one metro middle school celebrated a new program that's helping more students start their day off right.

Your morning meal could be one of the most important choices you make in a day. Waukee Schools Director of Nutrition Jeannie Allgood says, "Starting your day off with a good breakfast is very important for learning and getting good grades and all of that good stuff. It all starts with breakfast."

Waukee South Middle School recently started a new grab-and-go breakfast program.  From 7:30 to 8 a.m. students and staff can choose from fresh fruit, hot breakfast sandwiches, cereal bars, muffins, milk, juice, cheese or yogurt.  Allgood says, "All of our choices meet the USDA standards for breakfast, as well as our a la cart meets Healthy Kids Act."

Prices range from 40 cents for milk to $2.50 for a yogurt parfait. The grab-and-go breakfast option is in addition to the hot morning meal served in the cafeteria. Iowa Director of Education Brad Buck says, “What they're finding is these types of programs is they get really nice increases in participation rate, which is of course, what we'd like to see with breakfast programs."

The grab-and-go breakast started at South Middle School in January. It's part of the national Fuel Up to Play 60 wellness program. 55 to 75 students pick something up each morning. Allgood says, "Our participation has gone up 4%, which doesn't seem like a lot, but everyday we're seeing more and more kids take advantage of it."

The goal is to help students feel fuller longer and help them reach their full potential in the classroom. One student says, "I feel really good. I get a fresh start."

This is a pilot program for Waukee schools. The goal is to add grab-and-go breakfast at the district's other secondary schools.

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