Breakfast Blueprint

What does the research say about ...

Hunger’s impact on learning in the classroom?
Children who are hungry are more likely to:

  • Be hyperactive, absent or tardy.[1]
  • Experience behavioral, emotional and academic problems.[2]
  • Repeat a grade and have lower math scores.[3]

The educational and health benefits of school breakfast?
Children who eat school breakfast:

  • Demonstrate improved concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory and learning.[4], [5], [6]
  • Show improved attendance, behavior and standardized achievement test scores.[7], [8]
  • Are more likely to consume diets that meet or exceed standards for important vitamins and minerals.2, 3, [9]

[1] Murphy JM, Wehler CA, Pagano ME, Little M, Kleinman RF, Jellinek MS. (1998) “Relationship Between Hunger and Psychosocial Functioning in Low-Income American Children.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37:163-170.
[2] Kleinman RE, Murphy JM, Little M, Pagano M, Wehler CA, Regal K, Jellinek MS. (1998) “Hunger in Children in the United States: Potential Behavioral and Emotional Correlates.” Pediatrics, 101(1):E3.
[3] Alaimo K, Olson CM, Frongillo EA Jr. (2001) “Food Insufficiency and American School-Aged Children’s Cognitive, Academic and Psychosocial Development.” Pediatrics, 108(1):44-53.
[4] Grantham-McGregor S, Chang S, Walker S. (1998) “Evaluation of School Feeding Programs: Some Jamaican Examples.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(4):785S-789S.
[5] Brown JL, Beardslee WH, Prothrow-Stith D. (2008) “Impact of School Breakfast on Children’s Health and Learning.” Sodexo Foundation.
[6] Morris CT, Courtney A, Bryant CA, McDermott RJ. (2010) “Grab ‘N’ Go Breakfast at School: Observation from a Pilot Program.” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 42(3):208-209
[7] Murphy JM. (2007) “Breakfast and Learning: An Updated Review.” Journal of Current Nutrition and Food Science, 3(1):3-36.
[8] Basch, CE. (2011) “Breakfast and the Achievement Gap Among Urban Minority Youth.” Journal of School Health, 81 (10):635-640.
[9] Pollitt E, Cueto S, Jacoby ER. (1998) “Fasting and Cognition in Well- and Undernourished Schoolchildren: A Review of Three Experimental Studies.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(4):779S-784S.

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