A Low-Cost, Grab-and-Go Breakfast Intervention for Rural High School Students: Changes in School Breakfast Program Participation Among At-Risk Students in Minnesota

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018 Feb;50(2):125-132.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.08.001. Epub 2017 Sep 23.


Objective: Evaluate the impact of a grab-and-go component embedded within a larger intervention designed to promote School Breakfast Program (SBP) participation.

Design: Secondary data analysis.

Setting: Rural Minnesota high schools.

Participants: Eight schools were enrolled in the grab-and-go only intervention component. An at-risk sample of students (n = 364) who reported eating breakfast ≤3 d/wk at baseline was enrolled at these schools.

Interventions: Grab-and-go style breakfast carts and policies were introduced to allow all students to eat outside the cafeteria.

Main outcome measures: Administrative records were used to determine percent SBP participation (proportion of non-absent days on which fully reimbursable meals were received) for each student and school-level averages.

Analysis: Linear mixed models.

Results: School-level increases in SBP participation from baseline to the school year of intervention implementation were observed for schools enrolled in the grab-and-go only component (13.0% to 22.6%). Student-level increases in SBP participation were observed among the at-risk sample (7.6% to 21.9%) and among subgroups defined by free- or reduced-price meal eligibility and ethnic or racial background. Participation in SBP increased among students eligible for free or reduced-price meals from 13.9% to 30.7% and among ineligible students from 4.3% to 17.2%.

Conclusions and implications: Increasing access to the SBP and social support for eating breakfast are effective promotion strategies.

Keywords: breakfast; meals; outcome assessment; schools; students.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Breakfast*
  • Female
  • Food Services* / economics
  • Food Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minnesota
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • School Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*