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Should Mayfield Serve Up Breakfast?

James Calipetro, Staff Writer

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According to the Healthy Children website, about 12 percent of school-age children skip breakfast, and among adolescents it jumps to 30 percent. That would mean that at MMS, which serves about 900 students, there could be about 300 kids coming to school hungry. Should Mayfield Middle School sell breakfast?

First, we need to know if eating breakfast has any real benefits?  When it comes to testing, students that eat breakfast scored 17% higher than  higher than those who didn’t eat breakfast. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast “perform better in the classroom and on the playground with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.”  Interestingly, WebMD shared that many studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than people who skip breakfast–probably because it gets the metabolism going and keeps you from getting hungrier later in the day. And it boosts nutrition. According to nutritionist Claire St. John, “Kids and teens who eat breakfast have between 20 and 60 percent higher levels of iron, B vitamins and vitamin D than those who don’t.” Breakfast even impacts graduation rates and attendance.

So the need for breakfast is clear. But do kids want breakfast? In a survey of some Mayfield Middle School students, 83% said they would take advantage of breakfast if it was offered.  Those students said they would pay $2.00 on average, and some said they would pay up to $5.00. Items students wanted to see on the menu are pancakes, orange juice, bacon, sausage, and waffles.

Some of the students surveyed suggested that there could be added food to the vending machines such as nutrient-rich or protein breakfast drinks, breakfast on-the-go foods like granola bars and PopTarts, small boxes of cereal and milk, or even breakfast sandwiches that could be heated up with a microwave that would  be next to the vending machine. Another idea is a breakfast bar where students would pay with school lunch money account or cash.  The breakfast bar could serve breakfast sandwiches, an egg, bacon, and toast meal, or and pancakes/waffles.

In an interview with Mrs. Piper, the principal of a nearby school that does sells breakfast, she explained that 100% of the students in the school receive breakfast at 9:20 to 9:40 am, which is the first period of the day in the school. She says that having breakfast first in the day gives the kids energy and promotes higher attendance rates.  She said that 32% of the students do not have breakfast at home so having breakfast at school promotes higher attendance rates in schools.

What do you think? Should Mayfield Middle School serve breakfast? Vote on the poll.

Should MMS sell breakfast?

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Should Mayfield Serve Up Breakfast?