SOURCE: School Nutrition Association

February 25, 2008 12:33 ET

School Breakfast Fuels Kids' Imagination

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2008) - Before lifting off on a space mission or sitting down to write a story, astronauts and authors alike must eat a balanced breakfast. To help boost breakfast participation in schools and excite students about fueling their bodies to power their minds, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) has launched the "Fuel Your Imagination" campaign.

School breakfast provides the necessary fuel to start a day of learning and achievement, providing 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and calories and meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Research has shown that children who eat breakfast at school:

--  Score better in standardized tests
--  Have fewer health issues
--  Behave better in class

Furthermore, research indicates that kids who skip breakfast rarely make up for missed nutrients later in the day so skipping breakfast could also affect students' performance in after-school activities.

For National School Breakfast Week, March 3-7, 2008, school cafeterias nationwide will be transformed into rocket launch pads and students will be writing and sharing their creative short stories about how nutritious school breakfasts fuel their days. The three winning stories from the "Fuel Your Imagination" creative writing contest, along with the results of an ongoing 'rocket race' between three popular breakfast items, can be found at the official "Fuel Your Imagination" Web site:

From breakfast-themed classroom door-decorating contests to celebrity servers on the breakfast line, schools are celebrating the power of school breakfast. Special breakfast menus featuring "Blast Off Burrito with Rocket Wedges" and "Molten Space Cereal with Asteroids and Space Dust" and out-of-this-world décor in the cafeteria set the stage for important nutrition education messages about the positive impact school breakfast has on concentration and test scores.

School meals are served in age-appropriate portion sizes and schools have many different serving techniques -- from 'grab and go' bags and hallway kiosks to breakfast in the classroom and traditional cafeteria service. Many schools are offering breakfast at no cost to students because of the proven value of eating breakfast. School breakfast today includes whole grains found in cereal, cereal bars and bagels, as well as fruit and low fat dairy including milk and yogurt.

The positive effects that eating breakfast has on students' performance in school continues to grow as more schools are serving breakfast. The School Breakfast Program has been in place for about 40 years and today about ten million children eat school breakfast everyday.

The School Nutrition Association launched NSBW in 1989 to raise awareness about the availability of breakfast for all students at school and to draw attention to the link between eating a good breakfast and cognitive growth. SNA's National School Breakfast Week promotions are made possible with support from the National Dairy Council and General Mills Foodservice.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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