Breakfast, known for its high rank among the meals, is even better with a glass of milk, melted cheese, a splash of milk over cereal, or a cup of yogurt. And for most, cold mornings in Washington State are best accompanied by a hot drink, something to warm the hands and wake the mind—like chocolate milk!
Until recently, Auburn and Everett school districts struggled to attract students to participate in school breakfast.
Everett School District follows the National School Breakfast Program guidelines established by USDA and offers a nutritious breakfast including a whole grain, fruit or vegetable, and a cup of milk each morning to students at Gateway Middle School.
Last year Gateway Middle School served only 33 breakfasts on average each day.
“Our breakfast counts went up by 100 a day when we started serving breakfast in the courtyard with hot chocolate milk.”
Washington State Dairy Council wanted to help provide more students with good nutrition in the morning so through a partnership with Everett School District, they launched the Fuel Up to Play 60 program districtwide and introduced a new menu item for breakfast at Gateway—hot chocolate milk.
Everett School District’s nutrition department served chocolate milk heated in latte cups on November 28th. The result? Gateway served five times more breakfasts, and five times more milk, to students by offering hot chocolate milk.
Three days after Everett School District’s hot chocolate milk introduction, three times more students chose to eat breakfast at school. Everett is planning to launch the new menu item in all of their middle and high schools over the next few weeks and expects similar results.
Students at Cascade Middle School in Auburn’s district picked up a hot chocolate milk in the courtyard of their school, after hopping off the bus and before running to their first-period class.
“Our breakfast counts went up by 100 a day when we started serving breakfast in the courtyard with hot chocolate milk,” said Carol Barker, Director of Child Nutrition at Auburn School District. The warm milk had such a positive impact on Auburn’s breakfast program; they decided to serve it all school year.
Choosing milk at breakfast is key to starting the day right. Milk’s essential nutrition, energy for the day and quality protein allows students to focus on school instead of hunger and helps develop healthier, better students. Increasing student access to milk by serving it in warm, easily carried cups, is an exciting way to help students make a good choice for their health and increase milk sales.