School Wide Activity

Initiative Description: The school breakfast program evaluated here is one of several carried out by the Peruvian government. The school breakfast program consisted of a cup of a milk-like beverage (with no lactose in it) in three flavors and six small biscuits. The school breakfast was consumed at mid-morning. Since most students were not hungry when school classes started (around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.), and as a general rule parents were not available to prepare the beverage before 9:00 a.m., the school breakfast was served during recess time (between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.)

Study Results: The results showed positive effects on school attendance and dropout rates, and a differential effect of the breakfast programme on multiple-grade and full-grade schools. Particularly in multiple-grade schools the programme shows a significant and positive effect on short-term memory, arithmetic and reading comprehension.

Reference: Cueto, S. & Chinen, M. (2008). Educational impact of a school breakfast programme in rural Peru. International Journal of Educational Development, 28(2), 132–148.

Level of Evidence: 2 out of 5 stars Good