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Does your kid's school have recess before lunch?

 
 
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:17 am
There was a little blurb about the benifits of recess before lunch in my newspaper this morning so I looked up the research:

Quote:
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.


This seems like such a great, simple idea I'm wondering why it hasn't been implemented nationwide.

Why do you think it hasn't been?

(EDIT: link: http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/newsroom/jcnm/06fall/rainville/index.asp)
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 4,826 • Replies: 18
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sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:22 am
@boomerang,
I saw that in the NYT today and thought of you!

My kid does that, yeah.

Recess first, then lunch. I really didn't realize it was so rare.

The blurb I read (can find it) complained about problems with coats, washing hands, and getting lunches.

The hand-washing thing is annoying but I take comfort from other research that eating dirt is a good thing. Very Happy They do have hand sanitizers set up but it sounds like they're rarely used.

They eat in their coats when it's cold out. This isn't great but isn't terrible. (Happened to just ask her yesterday why they do that, she said "there's noplace to put your coat!" and I said "but why not just, like, sit on it?" but that's lumpy, evidently. Whatever.)

The lunches problem is really elegantly solved, they just put all the kid's lunches in a big box outside classrooms and then someone or group of someones takes the big boxes to the lunchroom. The kids go to their class's box and get their lunchbox. Easy peasy.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:25 am
@sozobe,
Not a blurb, an article:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/play-then-eat-shift-may-bring-gains-at-school/
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:50 am
My kids' have a morning recess - not right before lunch - but like at snack time. And then recess after lunch. I think it is just easier most likely for the schools.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:59 am
@Linkat,
When I was in grammar school all so long ago, we had recess in the morning (guessing 10:30), lunch at, say, 12:30, and left school at 3 pm. All went smoothly. No recess if there was a blizzard going on out there. Re the coats, we had cloakrooms back then. We had a cafeteria in the building basement that also worked as an assembly room and a bingo hall in non cafeteria hours. I don't remember ever eating lunch - from home or school - outdoors. (Loved that school food..) No snack time at all. There's the water fountain...
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:04 pm
We don't even have the "coats" excuse here because it rarely gets cold enough for a coat.

I read a lot of people thought it wouldn't change because it's just easier to keep things the same but I have to ask -- easier how?

Easier to deal with headaches and stomachaches and bad behavior than tweaking the lunch schedule around?

Are they worried about them washing their hands before lunch now?

I totally don't get it.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 01:32 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
No recess if there was a blizzard going on out there.


Blizzard, smizzard. What a bunch of wussies, Osso.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 03:04 pm
@boomerang,
All Australian schools have recess before lunch.

Well, they used to!

Recently I have become aware of some who have reversed this.

I am not sure if it is a general thing.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 03:19 pm
Until a couple of years ago, you didn't get lunch in German schools - they finished at about 13:30 (that 1.30PM) at latest.


We had a 'long recess' of 25 minutes at around 10, a 'short recess' at about half past eleven (10 mins) and 5 mins any other 45 mins (that's a 'school hour' here).

In primary schools, pupils had 10 mins any two schooll hours plus a large break at 10.00.

Nowadays, it's nearly the same but 60 to 90 mins at lunch time (in those schools which last over noon).
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 01:52 am
our primary school:
start school 9.00 am, morning recess 10.30 (i think) 1/2hr r, lunch @ 1.20 for an hour, no afternoon recess. finish school @3.30 pm.
little kids finish at 3.00
lunch eating is supervised in the classroom. This saves on yard rubbish and food waste.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 06:38 am
General aside, I may have been unclear -- my kid always eats in a lunchroom*, but when it's cold outside, she wears a coat outside to recess. Then when she comes in from recess to eat in the lunchroom, she doesn't take off her coat because there's no place to put it and it's too lumpy to sit on. (Maybe the lunchroom is cold too, she didn't mention that.)

She usually has two recesses, (~15 minutes and ~30 minutes) and sometimes a third. The long one is before lunch.

*Under general supervision from lunch monitors but not teachers, who use the recess+ lunch bloc to have their own lunches/ downtime. Lunch monitors open Thermoses and keep order in a general way but don't tell kids what to eat or anything.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:11 am
@dadpad,
Geeze, pure luxury. In elementary school, we had to be there at 7:30 a.m., and instruction stared no later than 8:00 a.m. (usually, though, right away). In high school, we got a little break--we had to be there at 7:45 a.m., and instruction started at 8:00 a.m.

We had a morning recess and an afternoon recess in elementary school, but i don't remember the times. 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.

We didn't get a school cafeteria until the late 1950s, and even then, lots (perhaps most) kids brought a lunch. If you brought your lunch, you were still required to eat it in the dining hall. The dining hall had formerly been the gymnasium, and the basketball court was still used both for sports and for dances, so you had to take your shoes off before entering the dining hall.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 09:02 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

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.



Well, the recess here might have historic reasons ... as well being a result of the influence of some 19th century pedagogics.

I know from the three schools we had had in my native town (abbey school, grammar school, 'general' school) that they all had at least three times a recess per day. (There's no plan for the Jewish school, but from what is written about it, there must have been a recess, too.)

Those times were later regulated by the Prusian school administration - and when I look at my grandfather's grammar schools timetables from 1904: it's the same as today.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 09:11 am
Our elementary school had a recess before lunch - they started at 8:15 am
had a 15 min recess at 10:00 am, lunch at 12:00 to 12:30 and then it continued
until 3:15. The last hour was mostly PE.

Now, Jane starts at 7:30, has a 30 min lunch break and is out by 2:15 pm.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 12:46 pm
Curious I asked my daughter her thoughts on when lunch recess should be - before or after lunch. She currently has a recess in the morning and one right after lunch (thus called lunch recess). She thought it would be better to recess before - because after eating you could get sick from running around if your stomach is full.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:07 am
Quote:
If you brought your lunch, you were still required to eat it in the dining hall.

pttt thats nothing!!! When i was yoong we had no dining hall at all, no gymnasium and definitly no indoor basketball court.
We ate in the elements under the blazing sun. There was a shelter shed if it was raining.
Behind the shelter shed was more interesting although "I wasn't there Sir".

i used to get up before sun, milk 20 cows, carry the milk churn on my back to the butter factory then had to walk the 5 miles to school.

At recess we used to "skin" the little kids at marbles.
i liked recess

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:09 am
Ha . . . i used to walk five miles to school and five miles back home, every day, often in raging blizzards, with the snow piling up over my head . . .

. . . I had to walk uphill . . .

. . . both ways ! ! !
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:12 am
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:
Now, Jane starts at 7:30, has a 30 min lunch break and is out by 2:15 pm.


We stared that early, but we were not released until 4:00 p.m. So now, i wonder if we were being warehoused for working parents. Of course, in the 1950s, the assumption would have been that Mom was at home waiting for us. Then there were the farm kids, it must have rankled with farmers to lose the labor of those children from a very early hour until they arrived back home. (I walked to school, so i don't know how long the bus rides were, but i'd suspect the child at the farthest end of a route spent upwards of an hour on the bus--that's a lot of lost time from the farmer's point of view.)
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 04:14 pm
@Setanta,
wow, until 4:00 pm was a long time.
I wish they would start around 8:00 - 8:30 in the morning, as some of the bussed in kids have to be at the bus stop at 6:00 am, so by the time these kids come into class they're still so tired. I do get why they bus in kids from poor neighborhoods, but it is such a strain on them, among other problems they
encounter.
0 Replies
 
 

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