Introduced by the city’s Department of Education as a pilot program in January 2008, Breakfast in the Classroom has since grown into one of the most significant health and wellness programs in city schools. Part of DOH efforts to address health disparities in high-need neighborhoods with high rates of childhood asthma and obesity, the program provides students in participating elementary schools with a free — and healthy — daily breakfast of juice or fruit, cereal, milk, a bread item such as a bagel, roll, or muffin, or a dairy item such as yogurt or cheese.
The program is based on scientific research that links children’s nutrition with improved academic performance and psychological well-being. Studies of students who regularly eat breakfast in their classrooms indicate improved attendance, punctuality and behavior, as well as improved cognitive function, attention, memory and achievement on standardized tests. In addition, the program may also reduce obesity, a serious health issue among American children today.
More information is available on the DOE’s website. The DOE has also created a tool kit with a menu sample, frequently asked questions and more.
Watch a video about Breakfast in the Classroom:
The UFT is a supporter of Breakfast in the Classroom. For more information, contact Lisa Lau at 212-598-7763. If you run into any issues or need assistance, please tell the UFT Safety and Health Department by using our online form.