At my school the kids get 20 minutes for lunch, which is bell-to-bell time. So lunch time includes waiting in line, getting your items, finding a seat, opening your food packages, EATING, throwing out your trash, and lining up to go back to class. If they don’t finish it all, they have to throw it away. Taking food back to the classroom is not allowed. I think kids get about 12-13 minutes to eat maximum if everything goes as planned. If their class is the last to get into line, well, they might have as little as 5 minutes sitting at the table.
Well, it just doesn’t seem like enough time to eat.
It’s hard enough for the teachers to grab a bite in 20 minutes. After taking the kids to the cafeteria, getting my meal together (using the microwave), chatting with a teacher, and using the bathroom, I might have about five minutes to eat.
Also the food prepared in the school cafeteria is very often meant to be eaten by hand. So that’s pretty easy to do in 5-10 minutes. It can’t be utensil-friendly fare if you only get a spork.
I personally can wolf down food when necessary, but I am an adult. Imagine a little person who maybe eats a little more slowly than an adult. Do they actually eat very much in 5 minutes?
I guess my wish is that all kids get 30 minutes to eat. Lunch is about learning too; it’s not just filling an empty stomach (and sometimes they don’t even have a chance to do that). Lunch is a break for students to chat with their friends in an informal setting. Learn about foods and enjoy eating.