07 May 2012

School Lunch

How long do you figure it takes for a child to eat his lunch?  11 minutes sound long enough?  Because that's how long children are getting according to this report.  Actually... I think this is an overestimate, or at least it would be in some local schools.

What the lunch duty people do not want is children being done with their food and thinking of other stuff to do.  If there's nowhere for the children to go after eating, the school is going to schedule the shortest block of time possible and call it good. They don't want food fights, bullying or just bad behaviour in general.  Crunch those kids for time, move 'em through quickly and who cares if they digest well?  Just so long as there isn't a fistfight on my watch, is what they're likely thinking.

Elf is a very big eater but often he won't pack this or that for school because he reasons he simply won't have time to eat it.  Or his apple will be half-eaten and thrown away or just come home again bruised up, so what's the point?

I think a bigger issue than the 11-minute meal is the overcrowding in the cafeteria.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to eat crammed in the middle of a room full of noisy teens.  No way.  I want a quiet place and maybe only just my family or a few friends about.  I can't even eat in a crowded restaurant.  I don't mind people so much but the elbow-to-elbow thing doesn't work for me. 


  1. Hi, I teach five year olds and we only give them ten to fifteen minutes to eat their lunch. Some are slow eaters, and that just means that I have to hang around a little longer in my lunch break to make sure they finish. It's that or cut into the curriculum time with lunch eating time, and we can't have that now, can we? ;P
    Luckily we share our lunch eating tmie together, just our little class of 21 children out on the verandah of the classroom. I love their chatter as they eat.

  2. Golly. I think we got 17 minutes at Greeley. Plenty of time for my two ice cream sandwiches!
    But I agree .. 11 minutes sounds a little quick, especially if there's a long lunch line!

  3. I eat fast. And I can totally see why a school would want to keep the chaos down. Glad I didn't start going through the system until high school, where I was allowed to hang out with friends on the floor of the Commons for thirty minutes, eating, laughing, talking and such. Of course, even at that "mature" age, there were also games of bloody knuckles and such as well... but I'm not sure cutting our lunch time in third would have helped that...


  4. Good Lord...schools would be just perfect if there were no children there...Sorry, kinda nasty today.

  5. Ivy can't stand being in the cafeteria because of the noise. She mostly wants to get done as fast as she can, head out of there, and head to the playground.

  6. Sad that society complains about children for their lack of manners and social skills, but make lunch time at school like slopping pigs. Fling the food at 'em and they eat it as fast as they can or they miss out.


  7. ...And we wonder why kids gobble down food at the dinner table.

    When my kids were in school, my daughter did not have adequate time to eat at all. I had to pay several dollars a day for her to come home starving because there was no time for her to eat. Plus the food I paid for was thrown away.


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