Breakfast In the Classroom
 Frequently Asked Questions  Download A Guide to Breakfast in the Classroom

A Guide to Breakfast in the Classroom

What is Breakfast in the Classroom?

Breakfast in the Classroom is a serving model in which students eat their morning meal in the classroom, usually during homeroom. The methods used to transport food to the classroom may differ from one school to the next depending on building layout, staff availability, student ages, and morning schedules.

However, breakfast is generally served for 10-15 minutes while teachers take attendance, collect homework, or accomplish other administrative tasks.

Why Serve Breakfast in the Classroom?

Break with Dr. Plunkett
Dr. Plunkett, Superintendent,
enjoys Breakfast in the Classroom (8/5/11)
Offering breakfast in the classroom makes the morning meal accessible to all students. By eliminating many of the logistical barriers that frequently prevent students from participating in the breakfast program, such as an early start time, this serving model ensures that all students have the opportunity to start the day with the nutrients and energy they need to learn better, behave better, and perform better in school.

Unlike breakfast programs that take place before the start of the school day, breakfast in the classroom ensures that students do not need to arrive early in order to have something to eat. This normalizes the breakfast program and alleviates any potential stigma associated with eating breakfast at school. As a result, breakfast participation increases dramatically when schools utilize this serving method.

How to Serve Breakfast in the Classroom

  1. Preparing food for the classroom

    • Cafeteria staff often begins preparing in the afternoon for the next day’s breakfast. Non-perishable packaged goods can be counted and placed in crates in advance. Coolers can be packed with milk the night before and put in the walk in fridge. The rest of the prep work for breakfast is completed in the morning before students arrive.

    • Foods can be kept warm by transporting them directly to the classroom in insulated bags. Warm, hand held items such as breakfast sandwiches and egg burritos are easy for students to eat in the classroom.

  2. Getting food to the classroom
    The layout of your school building and the availability of kitchen staff will largely determine your method for transporting food to the classroom.

    • A student representative from each class can pick up prepacked meals from the cafeteria and deliver them to the classroom. Carts, crates, and/or coolers can be used to transport the breakfast items. Following breakfast, students or staff can return the coolers to the cafeteria.

    • Once the food is in the classroom, teachers can invite students to take their breakfast from the cooler or have one student distribute the meals to the rest of the class. Teachers can record the meals taken while taking attendance.

  3. Cleaning up the classroom

    • Each classroom should contain a spray cleaner, and paper towels in case of spills, Trash bags will be provided.

    • Students should be taught responsibility by requiring them to clean up after themselves. This includes wiping their desk, disposing of all leftover items and packaging into trash bins, and putting the trash bags into large trash bins in the hall for custodians to collect.

    • Custodians can collect the bins during the time that would have otherwise been spent cleaning the cafeteria. This will ensure that classrooms are kept clean and that there won’t be any potential for rodent problems.

Key Points of Breakfast in the Classroom

Student having breakfast in the classroom
Students in Mrs. Huckaby's Kindergarten class pilot "Breakfast in the Classroom" (3/7/11)

  • Breakfast in the classroom after the first bell eliminates the stigma often associated with school breakfast and gives all students the opportunity to eat a healthy morning meal.

  • Classroom teachers can take attendance, collect homework, and accomplish other administrative tasks during breakfast without interfering with "time on learning".

  • Students can also use this 10-15 minutes time period to work on homework or reading assignments.

  • Student representatives from each class can pick up pre-packed meals from the cafeteria and deliver them to the classroom in carts, crates, and/or coolers.

  • Teachers can invite students to take their breakfast from the cooler or have one student distribute the meals to the rest of the class.

  • Teachers can record the meals taken while taking attendance. Student representatives can then bring the empty carts, along with the attendance sheet with meal information, back to the cafeteria.

  • Students can be responsible for cleaning their eating area and disposing of all garbage in a sturdy trash bin with a lid.

  • Once breakfast is complete, bins can be put in the hallway for the custodian to collect during the time that would have otherwise been spent cleaning the cafeteria.