Studies have shown that children who have recess placement prior to lunch instead of after lunch consumed significantly more food and nutrients and wasted less food. Bergman et al. (2004) found that a Washington school with Third through Fifth Grades (n=1119) that had recess prior to lunch had 27.2% food waste, as compared to 40.1% in a school with Third through Fifth Grades (n=889) that had recess after lunch. Also, the intake of calories and nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, and iron was significantly greater for all students when recess was scheduled prior to lunch (p < 0.0001). A study conducted in an Illinois school with First through Third Grades (n=67) (Getlinger et al., 1996) found that overall food waste decreased from 34.9% to 24.3% when recess was scheduled before lunch. The study also found that recess after lunch tended to cause stomach discomfort and dizziness in many students. Researchers concluded that recess scheduling is a factor that teachers, school nutrition staff, and school administrators can control to enhance student achievement.
Ruppenthal and Hogue (1977) conducted a plate waste study in a California school with First through Third Grades (n= 90) and found that vegetable, salad, fruit, and milk waste decreased when recess was scheduled before lunch. Based on the study results, school administrators scheduled recess before lunch and did not receive any complaints from parents or students. Smith (1980) described positive experiences he enjoyed as a principal when recess was scheduled before lunch in his California school. He found that plate waste decreased and students returned to the classroom ready to learn. Read and Moosburner (1985) found that Fourth- and Fifth-grade students in a Nevada school wasted less milk when recess was scheduled prior to lunch. The Montana Team Nutrition Program worked with four schools to promote its Recess BeforeLunch policy (The Montana Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs Pilot Project Report, 2003). Program administrators found that the average amount of food and beverage waste decreased after policy implementation. Surveys of school administrators, teachers, and school nutrition personnel found that the atmosphere in the cafeterias was more relaxed, quiet, and conducive to eating. They also found there was a dramatic decrease in discipline problems on the playground, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom, and that children returned to class more settled, calmer, and ready to learn. Focus groups of children shared that they liked being able to play prior to having lunch.
No recess if there was a blizzard going on out there.
Geeze, pure luxury.
In high school, of course, there was no "recess," but when there was a period in which one did not have class, one was required to go to the study hall.
If you brought your lunch, you were still required to eat it in the dining hall.
Now, Jane starts at 7:30, has a 30 min lunch break and is out by 2:15 pm.