WAUKEE, Iowa – Schools across the country are encouraging more students to eat breakfast during National School Breakfast Week.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, in 2018 16,689,857 breakfast meals were served in Iowa schools.
“Start Your Engines” is this year’s theme.
Ankeny Community Schools and Southeast Polk Community Schools serves a $1 breakfast to all its elementary schools during National School Breakfast Week.
The USDA’s program “MyPlate” suggests a balanced breakfast includes protein, dairy, fruit, grains and vegetables.
Waukee Community Schools Registered Dietitian Kaitlyn Scheuermann said all of its breakfast options meet federal guidelines.
“All of our meals are really highly regulated, and we are always striving to serve the best options. Whole grains, low-fat milk and fruit every day,” Scheuermann said.
Scheuermann said if a child does not want to eat right away in the morning pack a to-go option like a muffin, yogurt, hard-boiled egg, fruit, etc.
“Kids who have breakfast have been shown to have higher reading scores, they tend to maintain a healthier weight and they also score higher on standardized tests. Really it helps them to be more alert in the classroom, and that’s what we want from them at the beginning of the school day,” Scheuermann said.
Waukee Community Schools is offering prizes to secondary students who eat breakfast this week. Their name goes in a drawing each time they eat a meal at school.
The prizes include a signed Minnesota Vikings Jersey and signed Kansas City Chiefs helmet. The drawing is Friday.
Des Moines Public Schools offers free breakfast during the week at all of its elementary schools. During National School Breakfast Week new options became available. Those include: chicken and waffle sandwich, egg and cheese slider and a chicken sausage griller sandwich.