We all have to admit it: the best class in school was lunch. There was nothing more exciting than when the bell rang for lunch, everybody just stopped, yelled “lunch” and left the classes empty. Enjoying lunch is a great thing in school and scientists apparently feel the same about it, suggesting that more time should be given to students to eat their meals.
But scientists are not suggesting more lunchtime because of wasting time, it is because lunch should not be rushed. The key is to be relaxed, take your time, talk with friends and settle into a comfortable mood. Why? So you can eat everything that you have. A new Harvard study suggests that students from schools with less than 20 minute lunch time eat a lot less than they should.
You don’t get to drink your milk, can’t eat your vegetables and you don’t even get the time for everything to settle down, something that is not healthy according to Harvard researchers. In order for lunch to be a healthy experience, the time that is being given to it should go up to at least 25 minutes. That is the appropriate timeframe in which lunch can be considered beneficial for a child’s body.
Juliana Cohan, the lead author of this study and adjunct assistant professor within the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, has mentioned that children, especially those from lower income families, heavily rely on lunch because it provides the energy required to be active for more than half a day. Thus, the appropriate time should be given to them in order to consume their meals.
One thousand and one students were part of the study. They were all in elementary and middle schools from the Massachusetts and their lunch periods varied in between 20 to 30 minutes. Research has indicated that the time dedicated to lunch is not sufficient for children to eat everything they have.
Specifically, 13% of the children’s entrees re not consumed at the end of lunch time. What does this translate into? Approximately 12% of vegetables are not eaten and 10% of milk is not consumed. Children who had 25 minutes to eat or above were able to properly consume their lunch.
The study should give valuable information to school and the education system in general, suggesting how to better treat children and ensure they have enough energy for the day so that they go through school more easily and effectively.
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