At many schools, children learn to wolf down food as fast as possible, because lunch periods are so short. The Deseret News reports:
Still, in the day of increased school accountability, class time is battling meal time, and winning, said Marilyn Clayton, director of nutrition services for Jordan School District.
“They want them to be in class longer,” Clayton said. “A lot of the schools have 23 minutes from fourth to fifth period, and (students) have to go to their locker, then lunch, then back to the lockers” because backpacks aren’t allowed in lunchrooms. “And (that’s) not giving them enough time to eat.”
Experts say kids need only eight minutes to eat lunch — if they bolt it down.
Wolfing down food can lead to stomach problems, overeating and dash-dining habits that can transfer to adulthood, school nutrition experts say. Some wonder whether those habits are connected to rising obesity rates.
I don’t see why schools can’t extend the school day by 10 minutes to give students time to chew their food. I know of some schools that have a long lunch break to give students time to unwind, socialize and read while teachers have time to work with each other. It makes sense to me.