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Fueling Success

Why Schools Should Have Longer Lunch Periods

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Hearing the lunch bell ring, rushing to the cafeteria, scarfing down your food and hurrying back to class, is currently what most schools call “lunchtime.” The School Nutrition Association suggests that elementary school students should get 25 minutes for lunch, while middle and high school students should get 30 minutes. With this short amount of time, students do not have enough time to get their lunch, eat it and relax. Students should be able to take longer breaks from academic activities to eat more nutritious meals.


Having breaks during long days of school is crucial for a stable and healthy mind. Lunch periods allow students to relax their minds while refueling their brains with energy. The upper school has 40-minute lunch periods, but if a student accounts for going off campus to get food or waiting in the lunch line and then walking to class before the bell, the window to actually eat drastically decreases. 30-minute lunch periods are not enough time for students to recharge their brains. Cornell Health states, “Research shows that taking purposeful breaks from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity and ability to focus.” Longer lunch breaks are necessary for positive student behavior. If a lunch period is short, it causes students to rush when eating. With longer lunch periods, students would be able to enjoy a meal with time out of their school day to relax and refuel their brains.

Lunch breaks not only promote more energy but also promote better nutrition. If students only have 25 to 30 minutes to eat their food, most would just grab a quick snack over a nutritious meal.  If students had more time to eat lunch,  they would be more inclined to eat a full meal and get the proper nutrition they require. Likewise, Public School Review stated, “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.” If we had longer lunches, students would appreciate their meals and the nutrition it gives them.

Some pushback against having a longer lunch period is that it could increase students’ chances of misbehaving. Without being slightly rushed to get to class, some students could take this as an opportunity to have too much freedom. In reality, the chances of this happening is very slim hence the teachers who chaperone lunch, demerit system and further consequences. The positives outweigh the negatives since having these longer lunches will improve students’ well-being and health.

Having longer lunch periods is something that would be an advantage to students all over the world. Not only would students get a longer break from school-related tasks, but they would also get the right amount of nutrition for their bodies.


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Andy Poll

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