Breakfast tied to kids' graduation rates, new report

Paula Duffy's picture

National School Breakfast Week is being highlighted by the news that graduation rates, better test scores and fewer school absences are the result of a good breakfasts.

Kids who come to school hungry are behind the eight-ball, according to a new report compiled by consulting-accounting firm giant Deloite.

Deloitte worked in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, and childhood-hunger organization Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign ahead of National School Breakfast Week, which starts March 4th.

A few headline findings as reported by Deloitte are based on children eating in-school breakfasts.

Kids would miss less school and math test scores would rise by 17.5%. That translates into more graduating high school.

From there the consequences are even more striking.

High school grads earn on average $10,000 more per year and as a result are less likely to experience hunger as adults.

While 21 million kids are the recipients of government subsidized school lunches, only half are provided breakfast, even if eligible. Congress has yet to approve the proposal to equip schools to serve breakfast, according to the Sec. of the Dept. of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

The Daily Beast reported on another impediment that would exist even if there were funds in the federal budget to get kids the breakfasts they could use: shame.

"There’s also the stigma of eating a free breakfast at school rather than at home. Josh Wachs, the chief strategy officer of Share Our Strength added: “There’s the idea that only poor kids go in for breakfast."

Kellogg's and Weight Watchers are supporters of No Kid Hungry and act as Breakfast Partners for the initiative.

The weight-loss company supports the program through money grants in the U.S. and Kellogg's has pledged a half-billion breakfasts and breakfast snacks world-wide, as well as grants of $1 million throughout the country. More information on the extent of the companies' participation, here.

What constitutes a healthy breakfast?

The Mayo Clinic suggests some ideas for adults that are quick and might just be found in the average person's refrigerator or kitchen pantry.

They don't necessarily fit the typical meal suggestion and don't address the child hunger issue.

  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • Leftover vegetable pizza
  • A tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese
  • A smoothie blended from exotic fruits, some low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • A microwaved potato topped with broccoli and grated Parmesan cheese
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese and as much lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and sweet peppers as you like
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter
  • Egg omelet with vegetables (use more egg whites than yolk

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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