Lunch Made – Yes, Lunch Eaten – Unknown

Form A Lunch Bunch Committee

This is a group of parents who volunteer over the lunch hour.  Early elementary children can be quite overwhelmed by the freedom and choices upon entering the school cafeteria.  Getting through the lunch or milk line, finding a place to sit, getting packages opened and staying focused on eating lunch can be a challenge for many kids.  Eating a reasonable amount before heading out to the playground is crucial to making it through the second half of the day in addition to providing the necessary nutrition a young body needs for growth.  Compound this with getting snow gear on and off in the winter months and you’ve pretty much challenged even the third grader.

The most successful school lunch programs:

  • Send kids out to the playground before they eat.  They are hungrier and better able to focus on eating when play is first, lunch second.
  • Make kids stay seated for a full 20 minutes.  This way the kids who “eat the good stuff first” are inclined to eat more of the other options the longer they are seated.
  • Promote good manners, socialization and a relaxing environment.  Everyone is excused at the same time, after the tables have been cleaned and cleared and the students show by good behavior that they are ready to be dismissed.

The average adult eats their lunch in 11 minutes in a fast food restaurant, 13 minutes in a workplace cafeteria, and 28 minutes in a nice restaurant. That’s if they leave their desk. Instead of treating the noon hour as another task to check off in the day, parents could benefit from engaging their inner child and enjoying their lunch period too.

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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