2 of the three kids I watched enjoying a picnic
We work with a lot of school districts that have Breakfast in the Classroom Programs, and what I’ve discovered is that it literally takes top to bottom cooperation from the Superintendent to the custodial staff, and everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY in between to maintain momentum, and keep the ship afloat. Obviously, the Director’s want it because it maximizes participation, and federal reimbursement funding for their programs. Plus, studies show that a child who eats breakfast in the morning shows more of an eagerness to learn, achieves higher test scores, their attendance is steady, and there are less trips to the school infirmary due to illness…all positive bi-products. I also hear the downside that it creates a mess that the custodial staff isn’t necessarily overwhelmed to deal with. We have even tried packaging cereal differently in a pouch to reduce any mess, allow the kids to eat cereal like a snack, and drink their milk with the cereal, which hopefully reduces waste, and encourages them to finish all their milk, and not miss out on vital nutrients like calcium. Sometimes it works…sometimes it’s more of the same, but the theory, and the intention is noble from our standpoint.
Which brings me to a recent experience where I had a front row, center seat. You see…I’m a bachelor…I have no kids, but I have a million nephews and nieces who now have their own kids. Last month, my one nephew and his wife took a vacation out to Phoenix, AZ, and I volunteered to be “Uncle Buck” for the week they were gone, watching his three kids ages 9, and twins (boy and girl) who are 6. Not having a whole lot of experience with this whole “parenting thing”, it was usually a time crunch to get them out of bed, dressed, and fed by 7am, so I could get them to day care, and then I could get to work. The path of least resistance was usually cereal, and I was amazed at how much milk is wasted between three kids. They would finish their cereal, and leave the remaining milk, which I would end up throwing out. I bet I threw out a half a gallon of milk or more over the course of that week. When I was a kid, and even to this day, I still drink the milk that is left over once the cereal is gone, or I even put in a little more cereal, and finish up the milk with it.
My question is…is this typical or an isolated incident? Is there a better way to approach this for schools to reduce the waste of milk, and lost nutrients? If you have an answer for me…I’m all ears. If I learned anything that week…it’s that I’ll never be able to figure kids out!