Breakfasts on a Budget: Creating Healthy Nutrition Plans for Schools Across Canada


The Breakfast Club of Canada wants to develop a recipe book with a variety of nutritious, economical breakfast ideas that it can distribute to schools participating in their breakfast programs. Students working on this project will research food costs, develop menu plans that meet both economic and nutrition requirements, and prepare an easily accessible electronic resource. The majority of work can be done remotely, but ideally students will be able to attend at least one 8am breakfast program. This project is especially relevant for students majoring in dietetics, nutritional sciences or food and nutrition and/or who want to learn more about food environments, food programs, and food economics.  For this project, you need to be knowledgeable about nutrition and food preparation. Throughout the project, you’ll learn about the challenges of food security/access faced by rural, remote and urban communities across Canada as well as how to work within the constraints faced by programs in public schools.

Full Project Description

Breakfasts on a Budget: Creating Healthy Nutrition Plans for Schools Across Canada

Organization name: Breakfast Club of Canada

Mission of organization: Breakfast Club of Canada is a Canada-wide non-profit that has worked for the last 20 years to provide nutritious breakfasts to students before class each morning. Our mission is to ensure that all students have access to a healthy breakfast in a safe, supportive environment so that they can do their best in school. Today, we support over 1,400 schools across Canada, serving breakfast to over 150,000 students each morning.

Description of project opportunity: Our schools are constantly requesting ideas for nutritious breakfasts that can work within their limited budget. We would like to develop a recipe book that can give a significant number of breakfast ideas (integrating at least 3 of the food groups) within a small budget. This project will involve both researching average food costs as well as developing menu plans that meet nutrition requirements within these constrains. The final goal (supported by Club staff) will be the development of either a PDF handbook and/or a website/app that has all these recipes compiled for easy access by our schools.

Skills required: Knowledge of nutrition and interest in learning/sharing about the diversity of breakfast options (that aren’t just cereal!); comfort with self-led research (such as calling grocery stores in Northern BC to check the price of apples!); strong sense of self-direction and ownership over the project.

Skills to be developed through the opportunity: The realities of food security/access across urban, rural, and remote Canada; public communication development; budgeting; working within realistic constraints (What will kids eat? What can we afford? What do communities have access to? What can be prepared with limited time/staffing?)

Project location: Project will take place in Vancouver, but the majority of work can be done remotely

Days of week and hours project will take place: We are very flexible with our hours, although students wishing to see a breakfast program in action will need to find a weekday where they are available at 8am.

Primary contact for the students:
Robin Ryan, Provincial Coordinator
Address: 411 – 470 Granville St, Vancouver
Phone: 604-685-2220

Learning outcomes:

  • Realities of food security/access across Canada and the challenges facing rural/remote communities vs. urban communities
  • The constraints facing programs working within public schools and ways to work within them (re: staffing costs, food access, equipment and space, challenges facing at-risk students both socially and culturally)
  • Developing public communication for a non-academic audience

Organizational Outcomes:

  • Better awareness of the realities of food access for the schools we support
  • Better tools to help our programs become models of healthy eating habits
  • The opportunity for independent commentary/evaluation/critique of our program delivery models and self-reflection