Lunchlady Laments

Most of us can remember the euphoria of zipping out the school door for…RECESS! Yet, that rush often means uneaten food is tossed in the trash.

Studies have found that when lunch is after recess, elementary school students eat more and waste less–about 30 percent less (recess-before-lunch-powerpoint.ppt). And according to a 1996 survey78 percent of cafeteria managers cited “attention on recess, free time, socializing” as the most likely reason children waste food. Less than 5 percent of elementary schools eat after recess, but those that do find their trash bins lighter and their students more energetic. 

A Highlands Ranch, Colo., school is putting the theory to the test. As you can see in the TV news report on the topic, Bear Canyon Ranch Elementary will switch to post recess lunch in July. 

According to the segment, statistics from a recess-then-lunch school in Montana swayed Bear Canyon Ranch school officials. Montana schools reported a 70 to 80 percent drop in the amount of beverages wasted after switching to recess before lunch.

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