DCC: Creating better students starts with breakfastPrint
By Tammy Anderson-Wise
Nine of 10 Americans believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet nearly one-half skip it, according to an International Food Information Council Federation survey.
Breakfast is a major opportunity for the dairy industry. Studies show dairy foods are among the most commonly consumed breakfast items for children and adults alike. And children who consume breakfast at school are more likely to drink milk throughout the day.
Encouraging individuals, especially children, to consume breakfast every day is the centerpiece of a Dairy Council of California community health campaign this year.
Healthy student, better learner
Only 39% of teenagers say they eat breakfast every day of the week, according to a report from National Dairy Council with GENYOUTH Foundation, American College of Sports Medicine and the American School Health Association. It’s an alarming statistic when you consider the negative health consequences for children, adolescents and adults when they skip breakfast. As milk provides consumers with so many essential nutrients, this is an area of community health where we can really make a positive difference.
As a nutrition education organization working closely with California K-12 schools, connecting our efforts to breakfast – especially school breakfast programs – is a natural fit. Healthier students are better learners, and good nutrition is critical to a child’s ability to learn.
Dairy Council of California has daily contact with teachers, administrators and school foodservice directors, actively assisting them in their efforts to promote school breakfast participation among students. Additional outreach includes a multiplatform educational campaign reaching parents, consumers and health and wellness professionals with information on the important role dairy plays in a balanced and healthy breakfast.
By helping these audiences identify simple breakfast solutions that fit into busy lifestyles – and by portraying milk and milk products as an irreplaceable package of nutrients that cannot be found in any other single food or beverage – we provide opportunities to move the needle on breakfast consumption.
This is an ongoing effort that requires support. There are many things you can do as a dairy professional to help increase participation in school breakfast programs in your area, as well as encourage consumers to eat breakfast at home.
Visit HealthyEating.org/breakfast to find tip sheets and other shareable information, including “Parents…Get Straight A’s With a Healthy Breakfast” and “Boost Brainpower with Breakfast.” There is also a video offering easy breakfast ideas for busy mornings. Share this information with your local schools, friends and customers.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyEating and tweet breakfast tips using our designated breakfast hashtag (#BetterDays). Share our other social content found on Facebook (like us at Healthy Eating.org) and our website.
If you are conducting farm tours or attending community events, contact us to request printed breakfast tip sheets and other information supporting milk and milk products as essential to healthy eating.
Aside from our community nutrition education efforts, Dairy Council of California works to ensure our messaging and efforts complement those of other dairy groups, including the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and California Milk Processors Board’s breakfast challenges. We also provide staff resources and materials to help ensure there is a united industry voice when it comes to the importance of consuming breakfast.
At Dairy Council of California, we aim to reach more kids, more ways and more times with breakfast initiatives, highlighting dairy foods as the foundation of the breakfast menu at home and at school.
Join us, won’t you? Email me with your thoughts on our breakfast initiative, and how we can support you in your efforts.