The Provincial Breakfast Program supports, and is supported by, the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Public Schools (2006) and the Nova Scotia Health Promoting Schools initiative. Together these initiatives help create an environment where students can become engaged learners and healthier Nova Scotians for life.
Breakfast is important for numerous reasons. To learn well, children need to eat well. Studies show that eating breakfast improves school performance, cognitive function, behaviour and classroom mood and atmosphere.
Children and youth spend a large part of their day in school, making schools an important environment to reinforce the connection among nutrition, health and education outcomes. The availability of school breakfast programs increases the probability that students will eat breakfast and, in turn, improve their learning. School breakfast programs are not intended to replace nourishment at home, but rather to support parents/guardians who are the primary providers.
In 2005, the Provincial Breakfast Program was established to support the Department of Education’s Learning for Life II, Brighter Futures Together initiative.
A rapidly growing number of studies are showing the protective role that fruit and vegetables play in preventing chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and many cancers. According to Statistics Canada, less than one-third of Nova Scotians over age 12 eat the recommended 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.