Starting the Day Right

August 20, 2008

By Rochelle Davis, Founding Executive Director

While I was growing up, my mother insisted that we start the day with a healthy breakfast, a habit that has followed me through life. Who knows if the school administrators from three Ohio school districts were as adamant about the value of a healthy breakfast as my mother. But, it was good to see that they are following the advice of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and many other health and education advocates by offering students in their district the opportunity to have breakfast every morning.

A recent article in the Daily Sentinel reports that three Ohio school districts – Eastern, Meigs and Southern – offer free, federally-funded breakfasts to all students in order to improve their attentiveness, attendance and learning skills.

The districts employed innovative methods to encourage kids to eat breakfast. In one district, all children enter school through the cafeteria when they’re dropped off by the school bus, eliminating any stigma that they may associate with going to the cafeteria to get free breakfast. In another district, middle school students who arrive on late buses are allowed to eat breakfast in their first period class.

Healthy Schools Campaign advocates that all students have access to a nutritious breakfast — as well as a healthy lunch and recess — in order to learn better and grow up stronger.