By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Students at Hazel Fischer Elementary School have strong incentives to eat breakfast each day. The school is serving both hot breakfasts and a grab-and-go meals in a bag for nibbling at recess.
"Breakfast is probably the most important meal the kids get," said Food Service Director Ann DeLara. "If they don't eat, they fidget, can't pay attention and feel hungry all morning."
The fragrance of omelets or breakfast burritos greets students each morning from 7:45 to 8:05 a.m.
Kids who prefer the bag breakfast get bagels with ham and cheese, fruit, granola bars and milk.
"Studies show that a child who eats breakfast does better on tests than someone who skips it," DeLara said. "A good breakfast contributes to an all around better learning environment."
Hazel Fischer Principal Karen Lubin said the breakfast program will affect about 80 students. During this first week, however, kids are just getting used to the idea, she said.
To persuade the kids to eat, Hazel Fischer has launched a program that awards monthly prizes for the class with the most students consistently eating breakfast.
Prizes range from cash for educational materials to Breakfast Club T-shirts, Dr. Seuss hats, a special pancake breakfast and other rewards.
Yesterday, Kellie Olsen, a 7-year-old third grader, tried the grab-and-go breakfast in a bag for the first time.
"It's a new bag," she said, "with fruit, coffee cake and juice. I'll eat it at recess. I wanted it because today is the first day (it's being served)."
Hazel Fischer Head Cook Pat Saulsberry said the students seem eager for breakfast.
Lubin said the school has always served breakfast, but this year "We're emphasizing the importance of the meal. We want them to start off the morning being fed and feeling good."
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