Table 2

Summary of Breakfast Findings and Concerns for Child Obesity


Themes and sub-themes

Current breakfast practices

• Participants' children typically eat a range of breakfast foods, including both American and culturally traditional foods

• Most families did not eat breakfast together during weekdays

• Some participants' children ate breakfast at school on occasion

Benefits of eating breakfast

Good for school performance

• Helps children wake up

• Helps children concentrate in school; good as "brain fuel"


• Part of the culture to eat breakfast (Spanish, Vietnamese)

Barriers to eating breakfast in general

Lack of time

• Families too busy in the morning and children wake up late

Children not hungry

• Ate dinner late

• Not active in the morning

Children unaware of the importance of breakfast

• Parents not teaching/reminding children

Barriers to eating school breakfast

Food content

• Not enough hot dishes, especially culturally-appropriate hot foods

• Pork products served (not eaten by Somali families)

• Lack of variety

Food quality

• Food too processed and some food expired

• Need more fruits and vegetables

Lack of adequate time to eat

• Buses arrive late and children will not get breakfast at all

Concern not adequately supervised

• Children play instead of going to cafeteria

• No assurance children will be monitored to eat food served

Approaches to improve school breakfast program

Food content/quality

• Offer more culturally-specific foods, especially hot main dishes

• Survey parents about what they want

• Offer taste tests to children


• Reminders to children to eat breakfast from school staff/bus drivers

Adequate time to eat

• Ensure bus arrival time appropriate & children get breakfast if late

Concerns for childhood overweight

Lifestyle in the U.S. worse for physical activity

• More sedentary activities–TV, video games

• Parents too busy to supervise children in physical activities

• Children living in U.S. less independent, and less fit (Vietnamese)

Concern expressed more about other children, not their own

Greves et al. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007 4:64   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-4-64

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