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Human Development Essay

2064 words - 9 pages

School Breakfast and Lunch Programs
The Positive Effects on Students and Families

The topic of concern that I am going to address is how school breakfast and lunch programs impact the family in various ways. School meal programs, especially breakfast programs, have gotten a significant amount of attention in recent years due to the many studies that have shown the benefits of having these programs. These studies have shown that students who participate in school breakfast programs have better nutrition, less hunger, more food security, better performance in school, and the program could even improve the likelihood that students will eat breakfast on a regular basis (Bartfeld & Ryu, ...view middle of the document...

So for example, if the requirement lessens the amount of fat content allowed per meal, participation would, in turn, decrease due to the healthier standards (Moffitt, 1995). The problem that schools face is that they must stay under budget, follow the guidelines, and also prepare foods that students enjoy. Ideally, these components are all met, but unfortunately that is not always the case. In more recent studies, alternative methods were looked at for school meal programs to increase participation while still meeting the necessary guidelines. These methods could include incorporating more local, seasonal foods into the meal programs, decreasing the amount of processed, packaged food being served, and even changing how meals are served (Moffitt, 1995). Another method for increasing participation is to require that all buses are to be at school with sufficient time for students to eat breakfast, or to allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom (Bartfeld & Kim, 2010). Both of these options would require minimal planning for implementation and could make a significant difference in students’ participation in the school breakfast program.
One of the many benefits of school meal programs is how they can help strengthen food security for children, especially those who come from low-income families. Schools offer reduced or free lunches to students whose family’s income meets the necessary criteria (Bartfeld & Kim, 2010). For students who may not have an adequate food supply at home, this program allows them to assured that they are going to have food. It also benefits the parents because they are also at ease about the fact that their child is being fed, and they do not have to stress about the financial situation that comes with it. The fact that schools offer this reduced or free program can also increase school meal participation. A study showed that students of families who qualified for free or reduced meals were more likely to participate in the meal programs than children who came from higher-income families (Bartfeld & Kim, 2010). Not only are the school meal programs feeding children, but they are also receiving the necessary nutrition that they need because of the federally set guidelines (Burgess-Champoux, Haines, Hannan, Nuemakark-Sztainer, & Robinson-O’Brien, 2010). Food insecurity does not seem like it would be extremely detrimental to children, but it actually can pose risks such as a lack of social skills, impaired reading skills and an overall slow development (Bartfeld & Kim, 2010). I believe that this program is highly beneficial for all parties, because it does not discriminate against families who may not be fortunate enough to feed their child the amount of food that they need for proper growth and development.
Perhaps two of the most important elements that school meal programs provide are the abilities to increase health and improve educational ability. Studies have shown that students who...

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