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Breakfast in The Classroom

Overview

Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) is a great idea and works very well in elementary schools! At the beginning of each school day all students are offered the opportunity to eat breakfast in their classroom -- at "No Charge" -- regardless of family income. Student participation is optional. However, only breakfast provided by the school is allowed. (No food from home may be eaten in the classroom during breakfast.)

The advantages of BIC are many, but two key benefits emerge:

  1. Students begin their day nourished and ready to learn. Research shows that educational dollars are maximized when children begin their school day with breakfast. Breakfast improves academic scores while reducing absenteeism, classroom disruptions, and trips to the school nurse.
  2. Feeding more students breakfast can improve the financial bottom line of the school food service program.

How it works (generally)

  1. Food service prepares simple yet healthy menu items and puts the food in plastic tubs for each classroom.
  2. Each classroom assigns students to collect the BIC breakfast tubs from the cafeteria at the morning bell.
  3. In the classroom, students pick-up their food items and a paper napkin. On a BIC meal roster, the teacher marks the students who took a reimbursable breakfast. All students who want breakfast receive the meal at "No Charge."
  4. Students eat at their desk, using their napkin as a place mat, while the teacher takes attendance and does other morning activities.
  5. After 10 -15 minutes, students clean up their desk and put the trash into a plastic trash bag (that comes in the tub). The bag is then put into the plastic tub and is set outside the classroom to be picked up by custodial or foodservice staff.
  6. Food service personnel collect classroom BIC rosters and tally breakfast counts by the eligibility category of the students (paid, reduced price, or free). A very important point to remember is that even though all students eat at "No Charge," the breakfast meals are NOT ALL CLAIMED AS "FREE" BREAKFASTS, BUT ARE CLAIMED IN THE ELIGIBLITY CATEGORY OF THE STUDENT WHO RECEIVED THE REIMBURSABLE BREAKFAST MEAL.

BIC success stories

Financial rewards: Pilot Rock School District in Eastern Oregon was thousands of dollars in the red in their food service program account. After three months of BIC at the elementary school, the district was able to bring the food service fund into a very positive plus balance. For more information, contact Cathy Stelk at 541-443-8291, or email: cstelk@pilotrock.k12.or.us Email

Increased Breakfast Participation: Rhonda Hoffine, food service director for North Bend School District, implemented BIC in North Bend, Coquille and Myrtle Point school districts. The breakfast participation at these school districts increased 49%, 52%, and 55%, respectively. Teachers were initially reluctant about the program, but after several weeks saw the benefits and became very supportive. For more information, contact Ronda Hoffine at 541-756-8305, or email: rhoffine@nbend.k12.or.us Email

Perceived barriers

Breakfast in the classroom will cut into instructional time.
Reality: The first 10-15 minutes of class time is spent in activities that accommodate the eating of breakfast.

Meals in the classroom will be messy.
Reality: Menus are simple and planned to reduce messiness (see menu ideas, below). Menus include items that are hand-held and easily eaten by students. Surveyed schools with BIC report that trash and messes were easily handled and were not the problem for teachers that they thought it might be. Each classroom can have its own disinfectant spray bottle, paper towels, and a broom/dustpan for spills, but these items are rarely needed. In most schools, students are responsible for keeping their own areas clean and tend to be careful when eating their meals.

Teachers will resist the idea
Reality: Teachers who are now doing BIC are the strongest advocates of the program. They see the benefits of well-fed students and improved academic and classroom behavior. Some schools also give their teachers a breakfast at no charge as a "thank-you" for their participation and to model correct eating behaviors to the students. Note: Teachers can receive a breakfast at no charge, as they are now considered part of the food service program.

Supporting materials

Financial worksheets: Contact your nutrition specialist at the Oregon Department of Education, or Heidi Dupuis at (503) 378-3600, Ext. 2623, for BIC financial spreadsheets that will help you project additional revenues from the BIC program.

Breakfast Promotion Curriculum: Start Smart Eating and Reading: A fun-filled breakfast, nutrition & reading program for grades K-2, is a new nutrition education breakfast promotion curriculum for K-2 classrooms. Teachers can download this web-based publication from the following website:
http://eesc.oregonstate.edu/agcomwebfile/EdMat/html/4-H/4-H6830L/startsmart.html External Link

Breakfast Websites

Breakfast in the Classroom menu ideas

Many of these menu ideas include whole grain and high fiber foods that are low in sugar and moderate in protein. Quantities meet the food based menu pattern for a USDA reimbursable school breakfast.

Quick & Easy BIC Menus

Menu Items Quantities Special Notes
String Cheese or cheese slice
Whole Wheat Roll
Apple
Milk
1 oz.
1 oz.
1 apple (#138)
½ pint
Commodity Item
(Frozen) Proofed and baked
Washed and halved
1% white milk
Whole grain, low sugar cereal
Orange
Milk
2 oz.
½ orange
½ pint
(Such as Total, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat)
Cut in quarters
1% white milk
Bagel
Cream Cheese
Pear
Milk
2 oz.
Single serving packet
1 small pear
½ pint



1% white milk
Cinnamon roll
100% Fruit Juice
Milk
2 oz.
4 oz.
½ pint
Prepackaged frozen

1% white milk
Trail Mix
String Cheese
Orange juice
Milk
1/3 cup
1 oz.
4 oz.
½ pint
Commodity Item - put /13 cup in small baggie
Commodity Item
Commodity Item
1% white milk
Tricuits
Cheese cubes
Grapes
Milk
4 crackers
1 oz
½ cup
½ pint
Tricuits are a whole grain cracker
Can use sliced commodity cheese

1% white milk
Yogurt, flavored
Apple Slices
Milk
8 ounce container
½ cup
½ pint

Use bagged apple slices
1% white milk
Hard Boiled Egg
Baby Carrots
Ranch Dip
Milk
1 egg
½ cup
1 oz.
½ pint

Can single serving bagged carrots

1% white milk
Peanut Butter Toast

Peach Cups
Milk
1 slice bread, toasted
2 TBSP peanut butter
4.4 oz.
½ pint
Use whole wheat bread
Can use jelly or jam with PB
Commodity Item
1% white milk

More complex breakfast in the classroom menu ideas

Menu Items Quantities Special Notes
Breakfast Burrito with corn tortilla and scrambled egg
Salsa
Milk


2 oz
½ pint
Recipe Breakfast J-2 in USDA Tool Kit for Healthy School Meals-Sheet pan works better for cooking eggs. Use whole wheat tortillas. Wrap and keep warm.
Commodity item
1% white milk
Oatmeal Muffin Square

Applesauce
Milk


½ cup
½ pint
Recipe B-20 in Grains/ Breads, USDA Tool Kit for Healthy School Meals-replace ¼ of white flour w/ whole wheat, reduce sugar by 1 cup (100 servings)
Commodity - serve in 4 oz. cup w/ lid
1% white milk
Granola
Frozen Peach Cup
Milk
½ cup

½ pint
Recipe in Breakfast J-1, USDA Tool Kit for Healthy School Meals
Commodity item
1% white milk
Wrap sandwich:
    Ranch dressing
    Slice of cheese
    Turkey roll
    Shredded lettuce
Canned fruit
Milk
6" tortilla
1 ½ tspn
1 oz.
1 oz.
½ cup
½ cup
½ pint
Layer cheese, turkey, lettuce and ranch over room temperature whole wheat tortilla. Roll-up and wrap.



Commodity - serve in 4 oz. cup w/ lid
1% white milk
Fruit smoothie:
    Yogurt
    Peaches or blueberries or
    other colorful fruit
French Bread Stick
Milk

½ cup
½ cup

1 oz.
½ pint
Blend fruit and yogurt - thin with 100% orange juice. Serve in cups with lids.



Whole wheat
1% white milk
1/2 Sandwich with a filling
    of Meat/meat alternate
Apple

Milk
1 slice bread
1 oz.
1 small apple (138s)
½ pint
Some sandwiches, depending on filling, could be made ahead and frozen. Thaw in fridge night before.


1% white milk
English muffin
Egg patty with 1 slice cheese

Banana
Milk
1 muffin
1 oz. of egg & cheese
1 small banana
½ pint
Wrap muffin, egg patty and cheese in foil, keep warm in oven



1% white milk

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