Huckleberries Online

Shorter lunch times, bigger consequences

Cheeseburgers were served at Lakes Magnet Middle School in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. Lunches served in North Idaho this year will consist of less deep fried items, less salt and more vegetables. KATHY PLONKA kathypl @spokesman.com. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Cheeseburgers were served at Lakes Magnet Middle School in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. Lunches served in North Idaho this year will consist of less deep fried items, less salt and more vegetables. KATHY PLONKA kathypl @spokesman.com. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

School districts across the country are revamping their menus to serve healthier fare, but most schools give students so little time to eat that they could be contributing unwittingly to the childhood obesity problem.

Healthy food can take longer to eat, and research shows that wolfing down a meal in a hurry often means people eat more.

A new national survey by the School Nutrition Association shows elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch; middle school and high school students about 30 minutes. That includes the time students need to go to the restroom, wash their hands, walk to the cafeteria and stand in line for their meals.

Many students may have only about 10 to 15 minutes left to eat their meals, school nutrition directors say. Nancy Hellmich, USA Today

How much time do you spend eating lunch? How long should kids be given to eat their lunch?




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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.









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