Another great reason to pack your kiddo's lunch.
Here's another great reason to pack you kiddo's lunch. No only is it much healthier (the food in the majority of school cafeterias is not exactly great), but it allows them more time to actually eat their food. A recent Harvard study of more than 1,000 students in grades three through eight at six schools in Massachusetts found that once kids got through the line and to the lunch table, they had only about 15 minutes to eat!
Not only is that not nearly enough time, but it impacts what they eat and how much. In the Harvard study it was found that when kids were given less than 15 minutes to eat their lunch, they ate 10 to 15% less of their entree, fruit, vegetable, and milk than kids who had 25 minutes or more to eat. Over time that can certainly add up. Over the course of the week, it could be an extra serving of vegetables or fruit that they’re missing out on because they’re rushing through their meal.
If a child leaves lunch hungry, they’re unlikely to perform well in the afternoon and they’re more likely to eat unhealthy snacks after school. This teaches kids the wrong lessons about good nutrition. School is where you learn math and science and you should also be learning how to relate to food. Allowing only 10 minutes to eat is probably not a good way to build a healthy relationship with food. Ultimately, it's up to local superintendents and principals to make lunchtime more of a priority and make getting through the cafeteria line more efficient.