Essay longer lunch periods

In other countries, the contrast is even greater, with countries like France giving children up to two hours to enjoy their lunches in the middle of their school day. The U. However, many nutrition experts say even this is not enough for children to properly eat and digest their food before heading back to class. If we are giving our children a short lunch break, we are teaching them that food is an inconvenience, and eating is an interruption in the day. We encourage them to gobble their food, when the research shows that eating more slowly is healthier.

Those standards will include more fresh produce and whole grains, fat-free milk and salad bars. However, experts say that the more nutritious food also takes more time to eat, which means kids may be served fresher, healthier fare, without sufficient lunch breaks to enjoy their meals. Research has also shown that a combination of nutrition and physical activity may improve academic performance. Some schools have made changes to the school lunch schedule, with significant success.

In addition, a longer school day might lead to burnout among students and, ultimately, make that extra lunch time simply not worth it. Conklin and other researchers, reported that kindergartners through 12th-grade students took seven to 10 minutes to eat their lunches — not much time. With a longer lunch day, students can have more time to eat slowly and recognize signs of fullness, which do not develop until 20 minutes after eating.

Pro: Healthier Food

Students can also take advantage of important socialization time with a longer lunch break. Extending the school lunch time, without extending the school day, means that academics will take a hit. Students will spend more time in the cafeteria and less time in the classroom. While this might be beneficial for their social skills, it will not help them in their academics. Teachers will have to fit their current lesson plans into shorter classes, which can be challenging and make covering material difficult.

Other pros and cons exist in the school lunch debate. Students can choose between two and three dishes according to their preferences, with a staple food, usually rice. In impovrished rural areas, students' access to nutritious food is limited. The government has funded "nutritious lunch" schemes in rural public schools to combat malnutrition. The roots of India's school meal program can be traced back to the pre-independence era, when a mid day meal programme was introduced in in Madras Corporation by the British administration.

Under the Midday Meal Scheme , government high schools and partially aided schools, along with Anganwadis , provide midday meals to students. The meals are free of cost and meet guidelines that have been set by policy. During the school year, the scheme covered million children in 1. The Akshaya Patra Foundation , a public-private partnership in the Midday Meal Program, is a school meal program run by a non-governmental organization. Akshaya Patra started serving 1, children in the year Today it serves lunch to over 1.

A single afternoon lunch usually contains a cereal which is locally available, made in a way that conforms to prevailing local customs. Each child receives milk, and either soup or vegetables cooked as curry. The menu is occasionally varied to appeal to students. Children in private schools usually carry their own lunch boxes. Many schools also have canteens, and street food vendors can often be found in front of school campuses. In the s, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had intended a non-violent regeneration of Iranian society through economic and social reforms called the White Revolution.

The reforms' long-term goal was to transform Iran into a global economic and industrial power.

How the quality of school lunch affects students’ academic performance

The White Revolution consisted of 19 elements that were introduced over a period of 15 years. In , the Shah started a program for 'Free and Compulsory Education and a daily free meal' for all children from kindergarten to 14 years of age. It provided one-third of a pint of free milk to all children in Iran, as well as pistachios , fresh fruit, and biscuits. In Japan , the tradition of providing school lunches started in the early 20th century.

After World War II , which brought near- famine conditions to the country, the Japanese government re-introduced school lunches in urban areas.

Longer Lunch Essay

School lunch was extended to all elementary schools in Japan in With the enactment of the School Lunch Law in , school meals were extended to junior high schools as well. These early lunches initially included items such as bread, bread rolls, and skimmed milk powder replaced in by milk bottles and cartons. Later, lunches were expanded to include flour donated by an American charity ; a dessert; and a dish such as daikon that changed daily.

Provisions of rice were introduced in , following a surplus of government-distributed Japanese rice, and became increasingly frequent during the s. Hamburg steak , stew and Japanese curry became staples as well. In both elementary school and middle school , students put on white coats and caps and serve their classmates, who then all eat together in their classrooms instead of in a cafeteria. To make lunches affordable for students, municipalities pay for the labor costs, while parents, who are billed monthly, pay for the ingredients.

There are reduced-price and free options for poorer families. The daily bento boxes are designed by nutritionists to provide a balanced yet tasty meal for schoolchildren, working especially to appeal to picky or unhealthy eaters.


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Though Japan's central government sets basic nutritional guidelines, regulation is surprisingly minimal. Not every meal has to meet precise caloric guidelines And because this is food-obsessed Japan, those standard meals are restaurant-worthy; in fact, Adachi Ward publishes a full-color cookbook based on its best school meals.

But, like most cuisines, it can be healthy. You don't see dessert, other than fruit and yogurt. You occasionally see fried food, but in stark moderation. Common dishes range from Asian myeon , tom yam , and ma po tofu , to Western foods such as spaghetti , stew , and clam chowder.

Study Shows Healthier Lunches Lead to Higher Test Scores - The Atlantic

In most Malaysian schools, regardless of whether they are public or private schools, students eat in a canteen where they purchase food and drinks from vendors. School canteens usually offer Malay , Chinese , and Indian foods, with varieties of rice, noodles, and breads.

School canteens sell food and drinks at reduced prices. Underprivileged students can apply for the free-food program — which, depending on the school, is either sponsored by the school's parent-teacher association or by the Ministry of Education.

School meals in the Philippines appear to be relatively simplistic, consisting mainly of rice, meat, and gravy. School meals in most Singaporean primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges , are provided in each school's canteen or tuckshop.

I want more food

The canteens consist of stalls which sell a variety of foods as well as beverages. To cater to the many races, religions, and cultures in Singapore, canteens often offer a range of cuisines, like Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Western foods. To encourage healthier eating habits among children, the Health Promotion Board of Singapore launched the Healthy Eating in Schools Programme, which gives an award to schools which serve healthy meals.

To receive the award, schools must reduce the sugar content in drinks and desserts, serve fewer deep-fried and fatty foods, and include two servings of greens in their meals. School lunches in South Korea include traditional foods like rice and kimchi fermented cabbage. Due to the economic boom, obesity has developed into a known health concern amongst adolescents in the United Arab Emirates.

The past three decades have seen the largest increases in child obesity. Studies have shown that rates of obesity among the UAE's schoolchildren have surpassed the child obesity rates in both the United States and Europe. Traditional cuisine in the Persian Gulf region, once high-fibre and low-fat, has become Westernized, and now consists of many more high-fat, high-sodium, and high-cholesterol foods.

Exercise levels among children have also decreased rapidly, causing the surge of obesity in adolescents. Canada has no national school meal program, [63] and elementary schools are usually not equipped with kitchen facilities. Parents are generally expected to provide a packed lunch for their children to take to school, or have their children return home to eat during the lunch period.

However, some non-profit organizations dedicated to student nutrition programs do exist.