Should school lunch be longer?


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When many students leave for lunch it is difficult for them to return back in time without being tardy. The student lunch period time is 25 minutes, and many students like to go home or to a fast food restaurant to eat. By the time students get to sit down with their meal they only have about 10 minutes to eat their food.

Many students become stressed and feel like they need to rush to eat their food in order to get back to school on time. Most teachers do not want students to bring their lunch into their classrooms, which can cause additional stress on students. Some students may not have time to eat anything for lunch in the case that they go home.

“I do think lunch should be longer because sometimes I don’t have time to make my lunch and eat it all. Sometimes [I worry about being back in time before being tardy] if I have a long walk across the school,” senior Tegan Livesay said.

Drive-throughs for many fast food restaurants in Newton can get backed up during students’ lunch period times. Students may have to wait in line for 10 minutes before even being able to order their food. Also, the factor of expenses is huge, some students complain about the expense of going out or even eating at school. The expense of lunch has increased the number of students who go home for lunch. For some students who live farther away from the school going home may not be an option.

“I think we should get a little bit longer for lunch but only because personally I live about 10 minutes away and it is obviously free to go there but buying lunch closer or even buying the school lunch gets expensive,” junior Ava Claassen said.

According to Northwestern Medicine, leisurely eating is better for your health, especially when it comes to digestion, weight and nutrition. When you eat too fast, you swallow more air, which can cause bloating and gas. Slowing down to properly chew your food helps to break down larger particles of food into smaller ones, aiding digestion.

“Almost always [I have to rush to eat] because after I get my food I only have about 10 minutes to finish it plus my drink,” Claassen said. “Sometimes when I buy food they take forever so I can’t even finish my food before I have to make it to class or traffic is bad, and if I make it home I might not even have time to eat anything.”

Students of Newton High School are not getting time to properly sit down and eat their meal. According to Action For Healthy Kids, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that students get at least 20 minutes for lunch. But that means 20 minutes to actually sit down and eat — excluding time waiting in line or walking from class to cafeteria.

“I think that there are times where I do have to rush to eat and then I feel sick after,” junior Mckinley Mueller said. “Because I live close, I don’t have to worry [about being back to school on time]. I think that if I were to go out to eat then I would definitely worry because of the traffic.”