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Expanding Breakfast Grants Receive High Grades

Idaho schools receive funding to increase breakfast options for students

Meridian, Idaho – (April 30, 2014) – The Expanding Breakfast grant program, provided by Idaho Dairy Council (IDC), helps schools make it easy and appealing for children to start their day with healthy nutrition. Expanding Breakfast grants help schools with the costs associated to increase breakfast consumption. The grants are used to expand breakfast with new menu items and options outside of the cafeteria with alternative serving locations, which significantly increases breakfast participation.

Breakfast in school makes a huge difference for Idaho kids, who spend more than 2,000 hours in school each year. In-school wellness programs, including school breakfast initiatives, can instill healthy habits for a lifetime and may be just as important as books in impacting student learning and achievement.

Bonneville School District received almost $8,000 in Expanding Breakfast funding from IDC. The funds will be used to purchase sixteen smoothie blenders for schools in the district. Smoothies made with milk, yogurt and fruit are a popular choice that can easily be incorporated into a school’s breakfast menu. “We are so excited about our new blenders,” said Heather Plain, School Child Nutrition Director at Bonneville School District. “We have had great feedback from our FUTP60 schools where we have been sampling smoothies. One student told me he had never had a smoothie. I have never seen so many smiles! We are looking forward to offering smoothies to all students at breakfast in every school! Breakfast is often overlooked and we are eager to add some fun to our breakfast menu,” said Plain.

Other school districts that received the grant this year include:

  • Marsing                   $2,665.00
  • Wendell                   $2,140.00
  • Teton                      $1,525.00
  • Swan Valley            $   495.00
  • American Falls        $4,440.00
  • Troy                        $   495.00
  • West Jefferson        $1,525.00
  • Moscow                  $1,725.00

Research shows that improved nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. Eating breakfast at school can help kids be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores.1

Breakfast is crucial, but millions of kids aren’t eating this important meal. One study shows that more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day.2 This may be due to habit, hectic mornings, or lack of food at home.

“Students look forward to a nutritious meal to start the day off right, “said Crystal Wilson, Ed.S, MS, RDN, LD, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for Idaho Dairy Council, “They are healthier, happier, better behaved and more productive throughout the day. Children who don’t eat breakfast are missing 25% of the nutrition they are supposed to be getting – and they don’t make that up during the rest of the day.”

The school breakfast program meets nutrition standards consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The nutrition received from school breakfast ensures children will be served a nutritious breakfast, which includes milk.

“Children in Idaho are not drinking enough milk,” Wilson continued, “When sodas and fruit-flavored drinks replace milk, it is hard for children to get the key nutrients they need for growth and development.”

According to the Dietary Guidelines, Americans nine years and older should consume these three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products as part of a healthy, balanced diet to promote bone health and help reduce the risk of certain diseases.3

Idaho Dairy Council continues to work with school foodservice professionals in Idaho to increase milk consumption through proper refrigeration, cafeteria enhancements, and nutrition education. Contact info@idahodairycouncil.org or go to www.idahodairycouncil.org for more information on Idaho Dairy Council’s funding opportunities for schools.


 [1] American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Through Healthy School Environment, March 2013.

2 Eaton DK, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States 2011, Surveillance Summary No. 61(SS04);1-162. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6104a1.htm. Accessed on January 31, 2013.

3 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.

 About United Dairymen of Idaho

The United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI) protects and promotes the Idaho dairy industry and dairy farm families through outreach, nutrition counseling and partnerships with consumers, dairy processors, retail outlets and farmers and their families. UDI is the parent organization of both the Idaho Dairy Council and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. Visit UDI’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates and additional information.

About the Idaho Dairy Council

The Idaho Dairy Council (IDC) provides nutrition education to the entire state of Idaho as a non-profit organization supported by the United Dairymen of Idaho. The Council provides free, science-based nutrition resources to educators, students, health professionals and the public via curriculum, materials, funding, and nutrition instruction.


Contact: Cheri Chase, Senior Director of Consumer Confidence

208.332.1645, cchase@udidaho.org