Project breakFAST

project breakfastProject breakFAST: Fueling Academics and Strengthening Teens

Principal Investigator

Marilyn "Susie" Nanney, PhD, MPH, RD 

Caitlin Caspi, ScD 

Project Manager

Kate Grannon, MPH, RD


Lisa Harnack, PhD; Mary Hearst, PhD; Martha Kubik, PhD, MSN, RNC; and Robert LeDuc, PhD

Collaborating Agencies

MN Department of EducationCommunity BlueprintUniversity of Minnesota Extension; Kathleen Milbrath, School Meals Specialist; Midwest Dairy Council and St. Catherine's University

mn dept. of educationcommunity blueprint

umn extensionmidwest dairy association

st. catherine university


National Heart Lung and Blood Institute


The goals of this intervention study are to implement best practice strategies to expand and promote the SBP and test the impact upon 1) student participation rates, based on reimbursable meals served, 2) overall student caloric intake and diet quality and 3) body mass index and percent body fat in a random sample of 800 high school students in 16 rural Minnesota school districts. Best practice strategies drawn from federal and industry sources to expand SBP participation include improving access through school-wide policy and practice implementation (i.e., grab-n-go menu, service in the atrium) and promote participation by addressing normative and attitudinal beliefs through a school-wide SBP marketing campaign (i.e., foods taste good, school breakfast is for all students) and providing positive interactions that encourage eating school breakfast with social support from peers and school personnel (i.e., eating in the hallway, classroom).


  • Mumm J, Hearst MO, Shanafel A, Wang Q, Leduc R, Nanney MS. Increasing Social Support for Breakfast: Project BreakFAST. Health Promot Pract. 2017 Jun 1:1524839917711123. doi: 10.1177/1524839917711123. Read the abstract.
  • Hearst MO, Harnack LJ, Wang Q, Nanney MS. Dietary Quality of Diverse Rural Adolescents Using the Healthy Eating Index -2010. Heatlh Behav Policy Rev. 2016 Nov; 3(6): 519-527. Read the abstract. 
  • Hearst MO, Shanafelt A, Wang Q, Leduc R, Nanney MS. Barriers, Benefits, and Behaviors Related to Breakfast Consumption Among Rural Adolescents. J Sch Health. 2016 Mar;86(3):187-94. doi: 10.1111/josh.12367. Read the abstract.
  • Shanafelt A, Hearst MO, Wang Q, Nanney MS. Food Insecurity and Rural Adolescent Personal Health, Home, and Academic Environments. J Sch Health. 2016 Jun;86(6):472-80. doi: 10.1111/josh.12397. Read the abstract.
  • Larson N, Wang Q, Berge JM, Shanafelt A, Nanney MS. Eating breakfast together as a family: mealtime experiences and associations with dietary intake among adolescents in rural Minnesota, USA. Public Health Nutr. 2016 Jun;19(9):1565-74. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016000379. Read the abstract.
  • Nanney MS, Shanafelt A, Wang Q, Leduc R, Dodds E, Hearst M, Kubik MY, Grannon K, Harnack L. Project BreakFAST: Rationale, design, and recruitment and enrollment methods of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate an intervention to improve School Breakfast Program participation in rural high schools. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2016 Aug 15;3:12-22. Read the article

Project BreakFAST Final Report



Project breakFAST Toolkit

Data Collection

Student Recruitment

Example Promotional Videos

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