Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 48

P06-027 - Elementary-School Children’s Breakfast Consumption Cognitions and Behaviors

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


To describe the breakfast cognitions (i.e., importance, facilitators, barriers) and behaviors of elementary school children (6-to-11 years).


Children completed a survey (n=194) and participated in moderator led breakfast-themed focus group discussions (n=33). Data were content analyzed by 2 trained researchers to detect themes and trends.


Survey results revealed that children ate breakfast 5.75±2.24SD days/week. Focus group discussions indicated that kids think breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that eating breakfast daily promotes better health and prevents feeling hungry later in the day. Cereal, fruit, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal, and eggs were identified as examples of healthy breakfast foods. Children agreed that parents feel breakfast is very important for having energy throughout the day. Kids reported that facilitators to eating breakfast were waking up hungry, not wanting to feel hungry, establishing a routine, having foods prepared by parents, and eating with siblings. Children reported that their families usually have family breakfasts on weekends, but not weekdays. Barriers to breakfast include over sleeping, competing activities (playing games, hectic schedules), and not feeling hungry in the morning. To overcome barriers, kids suggested having grab-and-go foods (banana, granola bars) readily available and using an alarm to remind them to sit down and eat breakfast. To encourage family members to eat breakfast more often, kids said that they could remind them of the importance of breakfast to health, wake up earlier, prepare breakfast ahead of time (put cereal out the night before), use ready-to-eat foods, (frozen waffles) eat breakfast at school on busy mornings, and ask parents for food options that appeal to children. Most kids agreed that their parents' breakfast intake affected their own desire to eat breakfast and their breakfast food choices. Children thought that they influenced their siblings' breakfast food choices and their desire to eat in the morning.


Future nutrition education interventions should encourage parents to remind kids about the benefits of breakfast and to overcome barriers that lead to breakfast skipping, ask kids for suggestions, offer varied options, and prepare breakfast ahead of time.

Funding Source:

United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant Number 2017-680001-26351

CoAuthors: Colleen Delaney – Rutgers University; Miriam Leary – West Virginia University; Kaitlyn Eck – Rutgers Univeristy; Karla Shelnutt – University of Florida; Melissa Olfert – West Virginia University; Carol Byrd-Brebenner – Rutgers Univeristy

Colleen Delaney

Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey