March 8 through March 12 was National School Breakfast week, and in Lexington-Richland School District Five, Student Nutrition staff celebrated by bringing in special menu items in hopes of increasing more participation and educating students about the importance of eating breakfast.
“School breakfast provides a lot of key nutrients, like calcium and fiber, that help students stay focused and start the school day off right,” said Executive Director of Operations Todd Bedenbaugh. “Breakfast has many benefits, and School District Five’s student nutrition team is proud to play a role in helping students succeed.”
This year, the Student Nutrition Association celebrated the occasion through the theme of “Score Big with School Breakfast,” as a fun way to remind students, parents and stakeholders all the ways that the district’s school breakfast program is a winner. Students who ate school breakfast this week were also entered into a drawing to win prizes for all grade levels at every school in the district. Handouts, such as word searches, were also given out to help educate elementary students about the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.
“National School Breakfast Week also gives students an idea of what it’s like to enjoy different foods because we have a different variety of menu items to choose from this week,” Bedenbaugh said. “We will see what students like and add it to the menu.”
Nearly 3,500 students eat breakfast in cafeterias each school day in School District Five. According to the School Nutrition Association, students who eat breakfast before school tend to reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math, score higher on standardized tests, have better concentration and memory, are more alert and maintain a healthy weight.
The school breakfast program is available in all district schools and includes menu items such as cereal, fruits, milk, grits, sausage and more. School District Five serves approximately 13,000 meals a day district-wide. School District Five Student Nutrition initiatives also include the Farm to Five program, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Food Truck Grant winner for Summer Feeding and also has received three consecutive USDA Best Practice Awards.