By Brittney Mitchell 2016-04-05 07:19:35
When you rise to the challenge of National School Breakfast Week 2017, your school meals program—and your students—will shine! Get ready—in 2017, SNA is challenging you! Not to a duel or an arm wrestling match, but to the creation of a bigger, better, more-popular-than-ever school breakfast program! It might seem like light years away (given the length of your current to-do list), but National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) 2017 will be here before you know it. This year’s campaign, “Take the School Breakfast Challenge,” is made possible with support from Kellogg’s. The Challenge is issued to each of you who work at the school and district level, to pull out all the promotional stops and use this annual weeklong event, March 6-10, 2017, to increase awareness about and participation in this critical morning meal. A recently released report from the Food Action Research Center (FRAC), the 2014-15 School Breakfast Scorecard, highlighted the serious participation discrepancy among children who eat breakfast and lunch at school. On average, for every 100 low-income students who eat school lunch, just around 54 also participate in school breakfast. While that number improves slightly every year, SNA and other child nutrition allies challenge you to make those numbers soar in SY 2016-17! This month’s issue of School Nutrition is all about creativity, and what better place to implement fresh, innovative ideas generated by you and your staff than during this annual celebration? SN has a few approaches to get you started in your early school year planning. One-Two Punch If you regularly participate in NSBW each year, you already know that SNA’s annual online NSBW toolkit, found at www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw, is a comprehensive promotional resource, offering a wealth of items for you to use in planning your celebratory activities. This year, SNA has developed a brand-new tool to help you develop a fresh approach to NSBW: The official School Breakfast Challenge punch card. The punch card, downloadable from the SNA website, offers a simple but effective approach to boost breakfast participation through a customizable “challenge activity.” Create a challenge that is unique to your school or district. For example, distribute this punch card to students on Day One of NSBW and encourage them to take the School Breakfast Challenge. Each morning that they select a healthy school breakfast, they receive one punch on their card. Students who participate all five days of NSBW can be entered into a random drawing for either a grand prize or multiple winners take home smaller awards. Nothing motivates students like an exciting prize! That’s just one way to implement the School Breakfast Challenge. You might opt to use the punch card to reward students for trying new breakfast items or for answering breakfast-related trivia questions. Maybe the punch card helps you to track a totally different challenge each day of NSBW. Create the activities that you think will work best with your students. Other challenge ideas are detailed in the box on page 53. Accept the Mission NSBW 17 is not just an occasion to challenge students to eat school breakfast—it’s also an opportunity to challenge yourself! What else can you do this year that you’ve never done before to share the school breakfast message with parents, administrators and community members? Start by starting now! Your promotional efforts next March will stand a better chance of success when they are built on a strong foundation that is established at the very beginning of the school year. And that means starting before this school year ends. How will you reinvent school breakfast? Will you offer new menu items? Will you pilot a new service method, such as breakfast-after-the-bell? Will you pledge to invite a special guest—the city mayor, a state legislator, the head of the PTA—to breakfast at least one time each month in SY 2016-17? How will you rise to the NSBW challenge? Think beyond a single week in March and make a focus on school breakfast a year-long priority! The Facts on SBP and NSBW Following a pilot program that began in 1966, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) was permanently implemented in 1975 wit h the goal of helping children from low-income households fill a critical nutrition and hunger gap. These days, all students are encouraged to enjoy breakfast at school, and National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is just one opportunity to issue this invitation. NSBW was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the SBP, highlighting the benefits of healthy eating at the start of a busy day. It is always scheduled in the first full week in March. Mark your calendars for March 6-10, 2017. TAKE THE SCHOOL BREAKFAST CHALLENGE Take the Challenge Who doesn’t like a friendly challenge? Consider these four mini-challenges as possible activities to help increase engagement and participation among students at breakfast. Your site’s cafeteria team can decide how many activities to do and which days your schools will participate. Challenge 1: The Bulletin Board Learn more about how students take the school breakfast challenge. Create a “How I Take the School Breakfast Challenge” display and encourage students to use it to communicate how eating school breakfast makes them feel or about what they are able to accomplish after a healthy, well-rounded meal. Some examples: “I tried inclassroom breakfast for the first time and felt great the rest of the day,” or “Having a muffin and milk today helped me stay focused in class.” Take a picture of the display and share it on social media using the hashtags #NSBW17 and #School BreakfastChallenge! Challenge 2: Guess The Number Pull in those students who don’t normally visit the cafeteria in the morning by holding a “Guess the Number” contest. Fill a large glass jar with familiar items from your menu, such as raisins or berries, and ask students to guess the total. This is a fun and engaging activity that takes just a couple of minutes to set up. Reward the winners with NSBW-themed items you can purchase from the SNA Emporium, http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org. Challenge 3: Taste Test Time Do you have students who might be a bit skeptical about school breakfast? Challenge them to try just a taste or two. When you set up a sampling table in a central location outside the cafeteria, you’ll grab attention and maybe a few adventurous eaters. Set out small pieces of whole-grain bagels or muffins, diced bananas and samples of juice—just to name a few items. Distribute “I tried it stickers” to all who participate. Allow the students to vote on their favorite items, tally the votes and share the results. Of course, post the pictures, using #NSBW17 and #SchoolBreakfast Challenge! Challenge 4: Build a Lunch Tray Elementary students will love this—give them a coloring sheet with an outline of a lunch tray. Ask them to draw in their favorite breakfast items, guiding them to ensure that all meal components are represented. It’s not only an engaging activity, but it’s an easy nutrition education lesson, too! And, you never know—you might get some new menu suggestions! Reward the students who devise the most creative, the healthiest or the most colorful breakfast menus that also meet nutrition standards. Step by Step Add a little glamour and a dash of silliness to your 2017 NSBW celebration by creating a “step and repeat” photo opportunity at either the start or the end of this special promotional week. When celebrities walk the red carpet at a special event, they stop and pose for a few minutes in front of a specialized banner, with paparazzi camera shutters clicking away! Need a template for this backdrop? You’ll find an official option available in the online NSBW toolkit. Or simply make your own out of construction paper, fabric or poster board. To make the photo opportunity a special event, add a table of props (Fruits! Vegetables! Funny hats! Silly glasses! Lunch trays!) that students can use to make their fun photos truly memorable. This is a simple activity that can engage all audiences in the school community: kids, teachers and parents. Best of all, this backdrop can stay up all year round! Ensure that each student has a media release on file and then post the best photos to your social media pages. Use the hashtags #NSBW17 and #School BreakfastChallenge, so they can be appreciated by other celebrants all across the country! #SchoolBreakfastChallenge @ANC Attending SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in San Antonio, July 10-13, 2016? Mark your calendar to attend a special education session: Use #SocialMedia Savvy to Take the 2017 #SchoolBreakfastChallenge.” Join social media expert Dayle Hayes and nutrition marketing professional Dave Grotto for an edutaining session on getting #Social with your #NSBW promotions. Learn how to best use Facebook Twitter, Instagram and other social channels to interact with students, promote your programs and get the most out of the NSBW17 “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” campaign. For more information on ANC, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/anc. Brittney Mitchell is the marketing manager for SNA. At press time, the 2017 NSBW Toolkit and other materials were still in development. Keep checking back at www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw and School Nutrition for updates.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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