What is KickStart Breakfast?

The KickStart Breakfast Programme is a joint initiative between Fonterra, Sanitarium and the Ministry of Social Development.

We provide Anchor™ milk and Sanitarium Weet-Bix™ for schools to run their own Breakfast Programme. The programme is designed to positively impact child well-being through providing access to nutritious food at school.

Why offer free breakfast to schools?

The word breakfast literally refers to ‘breaking the fast’. Starting the day with a nutritious breakfast plays a crucial role in refueling your body after going overnight without food. It also powers your brain to support a full day of learning.

Research in 2002 showed that almost one-fifth of children aged 5-14 years did not regularly eat or drink at home before leaving for school (1). Similarly, the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey estimated that 55,000 children (7.4%) had not eaten breakfast at home on at least five days in the previous week (2).

KickStart Breakfast was formed as we saw the opportunity to incorporate breakfast as part of a school day to help our tamariki and rangatahi fuel up for a day of learning.

Over the years, schools participating in KickStart Breakfast have found students who start the day with a full tummy have improved general health and wellbeing along with increased engagement in-class activities and improved concentration levels (3).


  1. 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey
  2. 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey
  3. KickStart Breakfast 2022 Term 2 School Survey results

Who is eligible to join the KickStart Breakfast Programme?

All schools can access the programme to support our tamariki and rangatahi by providing a nutritional breakfast to fuel their bodies for a day full of learning.

All New Zealand schools deciles 1-10 from primary through to secondary are eligible to join the programme.

Satellite schools, teen parent units & alternative education providers may also be eligible to join but will be subject to an individual review before they will be accepted on to the programme.

Boarding schools (where students are provided with breakfast as part of their living arrangements), correspondence schools, and Early Childhood Education providers are not eligible to join the programme.

Do you cater for allergies and dietary restrictions?

At this stage we only offer Anchor™ milk and Sanitarium Weet-Bix™ as part of the KickStart Breakfast Programme.

How do I choose who can attend our Breakfast Club?

It’s up to each individual school how they want to run their Breakfast Club, and we encourage participation to be open to all students to access the KickStart Breakfast Programme, regardless of their circumstances. That’s because Breakfast Club is more than just a chance to eat something nutritious to fuel the day of learning, it’s also a great time for students to mix and socialise. It’s an opportunity for everyone – including teachers, whānau members and students - to get around the table, share food and experiences and model positive behaviour.

You can find some different ways to run your KickStart Breakfast Club here.

What do schools need to provide to run the KickStart Breakfast programme?

KickStart Breakfast is a free programme for our schools.

KickStart Breakfast products, Anchor™ milk and Sanitarium Weet-Bix™, is provided free of charge to schools

School need to source resources to run the breakfast club, such as volunteers, student leaders or staff, bowls and spoons as well as creating an inviting environment for tamariki and rangatahi.

How should schools run the KickStart Breakfast programme ?

Breakfast club can be run anytime of the day, from your traditional breakfast club in the morning before school, during morning tea, lunch time or throughout the day appropriate for your students and school context. You can run your breakfast club as many days as you would like.

Many of our schools reach out to a range of people to help run their breakfast club. From parents, grandparents, volunteers from the community; to principals, teachers, staff, support staff and students. This is a great opportunity to get to know your wider school whānau and community.

KickStart Breakfast is ‘more than just breakfast’, it creates an opportunity for students to learn and take on additional roles of leadership e.g. help run their breakfast club and overseeing the recycling aspect of the programme.

Why does the KickStart Breakfast programme suggest offering breakfast to all students when they may not need it, or have already have breakfast at home?

We are giving all schools the option to decide what will work best at their school. Schools can offer to a focus group or to the entire school as they see fit. We want to remove any limitations or barriers for schools to run a breakfast club.

We recommend offering your breakfast programme to as many students as possible as need is not always visible, and to help remove any whakamā / stigma around attending your breakfast club. Students often feel safer when surrounded by their peers, in a safe environment.

Breakfast club is more than just breakfast. We find that Breakfast clubs becomes a place to socialise, connect with peers, teachers and volunteers from the wider community, and share kai. It can also foster development.

Do you offer the programme to Early Childhood Centres?

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend KickStart Breakfast to Early Childhood Centres, Kōhanga Reo, Preschools or Kindergartens as they do not meet the criteria to join the programme at this stage.