Title

Most US Public Elementary Schools Provide Students Only Minimal Time to Eat Lunch

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2014

Abstract

Providing sufficient time to eat lunch is crucial for promoting healthy eating behaviors among children.1 Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics2 and the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity3 recommend that students have at least 20 minutes to eat, beginning from the time they are seated with their meal. Because students often wait for several minutes to receive their lunch, scheduled lunch periods of longer than 20 minutes may be needed to provide adequate time for eating. Research shows that elementary school students who were given 30 minutes for lunch consumed more foods with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A, than did those with a 20- minute lunch period.4 However, despite the importance of adequate time for lunch, some barriers exist to providing the recommended 20 minutes of time to consume lunch after students receive their food.

Recommended Citation

Turner, L.; Eliason, M.; Sandoval, A.; and Chaloupka, F. J.. (2014). "Most US Public Elementary Schools Provide Students Only Minimal Time to Eat Lunch". BTG Research Brief.

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