Every year, the School Nutrition Association, or SNA, sponsors National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) during the first full week in March. The NSBW theme for 2019 is “Start Your Engines with Breakfast”, which is designed to show parents, students, and school officials the benefits of fueling up for the day with a healthy school breakfast. The NSBW was launched in 1989 by the federal government as a means for all K12 students in the United States to have access to a nutritious school breakfast. More than 14 million children participate each day. School breakfast plays a particularly significant role for children of food-insecure families, and when all students are taking advantage of school breakfast service, that can help to eliminate any stigma associated with participation.
We, at the Meigs County Health Department WIC Program, strive daily to assist those families who may be food-insecure. The goals of WIC nutrition education are to: 1) emphasize the relationship between nutrition, physical activity, and health with special emphasis on the nutritional needs of pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants and children under five years of age; and 2) assist the individual who is at nutritional risk in achieving a positive change in dietary and physical activity habits, resulting in improved nutritional status and in the prevention of nutrition-related problems through optimal use of the WIC supplemental foods and other nutritious foods.
So once the children reach 5 years of age and are no longer eligible to receive benefits through the WIC program, it is good to know that through the SNA’s NSB program a healthy, nutritious breakfast is available to them. When a child’s belly is full they are able to engage and absorb the information laid out before them, and with that the possibilities are endless. Breakfast is after all the most important meal of the day.
Jenna Roush, RN, is a WIC Certifying Health Professional with the Meigs County Health Department.