Healthy nutrition makes a difference in children's lives

Expert Tip: Shenessa Rossetti, School Nurse in the Forest Area School District

“Eating breakfast helps the body have energy to work well, so students can feel good, and if they feel good, they can learn.”

Shenessa suggests wheat or multigrain toast with peanut butter and some fruit.


Partners Post, September 2013

We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is more than just a notion. In fact, there are many well-documented nutritional, academic, and behavioral benefits of a healthy breakfast.

Research from the Food Research and Action Center shows that regularly eating breakfast is good for the mind and can help improve academic and behavioral outcomes.

Children who eat breakfast are more likely to reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math, concentrate better, be more alert, retain more of what they learn, and participate in class. Making sure students eat breakfast is good for creating an overall positive learning environment, too, because school breakfast is associated with reduced absenteeism, reduced tardiness, reduced behavior problems, fewer visits to the nurse's office, and higher grades.

Schools report that offering all students free breakfast improves behavior and increases attentiveness. This strong link is behind the federal Breakfast at School Program, which operates much like the National School Lunch Program.

Additional Resources:

  • Breakfast Matters!
    Research confirms that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children’s health, academic achievement, cognitive development, and mental health.
  • 15 On-the-Go Breakfast Recipes (
  • Start With School Breakfast Guide 
    Research confirms that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children’s health, academic achievement, cognitive development and mental health. Unfortunately, many children regularly skip breakfast each morning, depriving them of the important benefits associated with the morning meal. In fact, though most schools in the United States offer the School Breakfast Program, less than a quarter of all students and less than half of the students who are eligible for a free or reduced price breakfast are eating it. Reasons for low participation may include:

    • Busy morning schedules
    • Inability to get to school early due to bus and carpool schedules
    • Not being hungry first thing in the morning
    • Peer pressure to socialize or play instead of eating breakfast
    • Social stigma that “only low-income students” eat breakfast in the cafeteria

Section 1: School Breakfast Benefits

Section 2: Increasing School Breakfast Participation

Section 3: Useful Tools









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