Teachers' Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Breakfast in the Classroom: The Importance of Health

Gina Pope McKeon, Jennifer Shukaitis, Cara L. Cuite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Teacher resistance is sometimes cited as a barrier to implementing Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC), an approach to school breakfast in which students eat at their desks after the school day has begun. Given their role in serving breakfast with BIC, teacher perceptions may be critical in implementing an effective BIC program. METHODS: K-5 teachers (N = 249) in an urban, low-income school district completed an online survey that assessed their expectations of BIC (retrospectively), perceptions of its benefits and challenges, and current program satisfaction. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlation tests, and multiple regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: Most teachers (64%) whose students were currently receiving BIC were satisfied with the program overall, and 81% of teachers agreed that (1) BIC should continue and (2) is worth the effort. The most commonly identified problem was lack of breakfast variety and healthfulness. Retrospective positive expectations were positively correlated with current program satisfaction (r =.61, p <.001), although overall post-implementation perceptions are much more positive. Additionally, the perception that BIC improves students' health is related to higher satisfaction with BIC. CONCLUSIONS: Focusing on the health implications of BIC may be important to implementing new BIC programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-749
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume91
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Breakfast After the Bell
  • Breakfast in the Classroom
  • community eligibility
  • school breakfast
  • student health
  • teacher perceptions

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