Breakfast After the Bell

Breakfast After the Bell

American Dairy Association North East supports a wide variety of breakfast programs in our schools.

Breakfast After The Bell

Program Background
Almost all schools offer a breakfast program, yet traditionally these programs are vastly underutilized.

Program Details
One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day. We're proud to support and help implement the following programs that improve student access to nutritious school meals. 

Boost your breakfast participation by serving Breakfast After the Bell. Simply use one or more of these winning serving models.

Breakfast in the Classroom

Breakfast in the Classroom is a service delivery model where students eat breakfast in their classroom after the official start of the school day. Students or staff may deliver breakfasts to classrooms from the cafeteria via coolers or insulated rolling bags, or school nutrition staff can serve breakfast from mobile carts in the hallways. Breakfast in the Classroom typically takes 10 – 15 minutes and can happen during morning tasks such as attendance or it can be integrated with other instructional activities. Some schools encourage teachers to participate in the program and eat with their students.

 82% of schools that adopt Breakfast After the Bell see increased meal participation. This is because serving breakfast during the school day eliminates stigma and improves access for everyone.

Click here for's Breakfast After the Bell resource toolkit.

Grab n’ Go

Grab n’ Go is a service delivery model where students pick up conveniently packaged breakfasts from mobile service carts in high traffic areas, such as hallways, entryways or cafeterias, when they arrive at school or between classes. Students can eat in the cafeteria, the classroom or elsewhere on school grounds. The Grab n’ Go model is often used in middle and high schools because it is so flexible and can accommodate varying schedules and students who are on the move.

Second Chance Breakfast

Second Chance Breakfast refers to a meal service model where students eat breakfast during a break in the morning, often after first period or midway between breakfast and lunch. Schools can serve breakfast in the same manner as they would with traditional Grab n’ Go breakfast. This model can be particularly effective for older students who may not be hungry first thing in the morning or may opt to hang out with friends. Second Chance Breakfast may be referred to by a variety of names, such as Breakfast After First Period, School Brunch or Mid-Morning Nutrition Break.

Breakfast Vending

Breakfast Vending allows students to access breakfast foods though vending machines. This model is most often implemented in high schools and vending machines are usually only available prior to the start of the school day.The American Dairy Association North East proudly supports programs aimed to improve the health of children in schools with dairy and nutrition education. 

Top 10 Reasons to Try Breakfast After the Bell

1. No child should start the school day hungry!

Studies show that children who skip breakfast are at an academic disadvantage: They have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to repeat a grade.

2. Not all children are able to eat at home!

Whether they come from a family with a tight budget, are too busy, or simply have a poor appetite in the morning, not all children get the energy and nutrients they need to get a healthy start to the morning.

3. Your school has a breakfast program!

Every day, meals are available to students that meet USDA guidelines. They provide ¼ of the Recommended Daily Value of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C for the day, and less than 30 percent of calories from fat.

4. Breakfast in the classroom gets more students to participate!

Bus schedules, limited time, and class distance from the cafeteria are all barriers to participation in school breakfast. There is also sometimes a stigma associated with school breakfast. Having breakfast in the classroom eliminates many of these barriers and reduces stigma by enabling more students to participate in breakfast.

5. Breakfast in the classroom requires minimal work…

A well‐planned breakfast program runs smoothly. The teacher’s role can be as easy as checking names off a roster and placing trash outside the classroom, and custodians need only pick up bags when breakfast is over. School food service staff can prepare meals the day before. Breakfast need only take 10‐15 minutes and can be accomplished during routine activities.

6. … and can have great payoffs!

Studies show that eating breakfast can help math, reading, and standardized test scores. iii Breakfast also helps students pay attention in class, perform problem‐solving tasks, and improves memory. Serving breakfast in the classroom can help reduce tardiness and absences, and help children behave better.

7. Ensuring that students eat breakfast helps create healthy habits for life!

Children who eat breakfast tend to have more adequate nutrient intakes than those who don’t. Some studies have also indicated that eating breakfast on a regular basis reduces the risk of being overweight.

8. Breakfast can be incorporated into lesson plans!

For instance, for younger students, eating an apple sliced into four quarters might easily turn into a math lesson using fractions, a writing activity about the five senses, or a fun nutrition education activity. For older students, that same apple might spark a scientific inquiry about energy and calories or even plant life cycles. The possibilities are endless.

9. Breakfast in the classroom allows teachers to spend time with students!

Breakfast can give you the opportunity to personally interact with students before delving into the rest of the day’s activities. Or, you can take care of administrative tasks that often get postponed until the end of the day.

10. Students will thank you...

Whether through smiling faces or increased focus in class, their minds and bodies will be grateful. The goal of School Breakfast is to ensure that every child gets the boost they need for physical and academic well‐being.

To learn more how these programs can benefit your school, contact one of our youth programs specialists.