It's National School Breakfast Week, and we are thrilled to celebrate our favorite way to wake up each morning: with school breakfast!
Ayn Yeagle MS, RD and Chartwells K12's Northeast Regional Dietician shares with us some advice on the most important meal of the day:
We’ve all heard it growing up: ”Eat your
breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day”.
But is it true? The answer is easy to understand if you look
at the actual word. Breakfast literally
means ‘breaking the fast’. Every night
your body goes into fasting mode after you stop eating for a certain period of
time. Breakfast restarts your metabolism
and gets your body to burn calories and breaks your overnight fast. When
you don't eat breakfast your body thinks you're not going to feed it and will
hold onto calories.
The golden rule of eating a healthy
breakfast is to choose at least three food groups, because whatever you eat,
your body is going to use as fuel.
But it’s not just about how much you eat,
it’s also about what you eat. The key is
to choose nutrient dense foods high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and
even healthy fat. People who eat better,
And that’s where school breakfast comes
in. Breakfast in a Chartwells café has been developed by chefs and dietitians
who emphasize taste and flavor while ensuring each student receives a healthy,
Chartwells cafes are transforming
breakfast for our students. Appealing to
their on-the-go lifestyle, students can grab a protein packed smoothie, yogurt
parfait, oatmeal with milk and fruit or a whole-grain egg and cheese breakfast
sandwich or burrito with a piece of fresh fruit and be on their way to class
Many of our partners have also gone
beyond traditional breakfast in the café and offer alternatives to reach more
students such as breakfast in the classroom (BIC) and grab ‘n go. These options allow us to reach students who
do not come to the café in the morning, may run late or prefer to eat on the
run. To that end, many of our school
breakfast programs have seen a significant increase in student engagement and
satisfaction since initiating a grab ‘n go and BIC.
If you don’t like a traditional
breakfast, think outside the box! Breakfast can be any food you enjoy.
Talk to your local school café manager about other options your school food and
nutrition department can add to the menu.
Also don’t be afraid to experiment at home and bring your ideas into the
café to see if they can be incorporated into your school breakfast program.
Happy National School
Written by Ayn Yeagle, MS, RD,
Northeast Regional Dietitian