Spin off - How much time for lunch?

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6567
Spin off - How much time for lunch?

How much is a good amount of time for a school to have for lunch?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6567

DH is an adult who I am confident is not sitting around talking so he is not eating his lunch. He gets a 20 minute break for lunch. This is all the time he and the students have to go to the bathroom, get lunch (whether that be wait in line for a hot meal, or wait in line to use the microwave to heat up his meal) and eat. There are many days that he brings part of his lunch home saying he just did not have time to eat it all.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

20 minutes is not enough. I think 40. 30 at least. Give them time to get their lunches from wherever (home-made or hot lunch), sit down with friends, actually TALK to them (which I don't see as a negative), and eat.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

We give ours 30, but our sister school gives 15. (but we usually only keep our kids for lunch if they are alt ed kids, and it generally keeps them from having time to get into trouble...)

Oh and my opinion lol - 15 is way too little. 30 usually is a nice amount. we do well here Smile

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I thought that employers have to give 30 minutes for lunch (of course, that only effects the teachers, not the kids.) Are there different rules for schools? I will have to ask DH how long he gets.

In general, I would say that 30 minutes would be a good amount.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6567

I am not sure how that works. DH only gets the 20 minutes for lunch and he is not really off as he has to stay with the kids. I believe the teachers get a planing period at some point during the day, but not interpreters.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I think 30 min is plenty of time for anyone. I time my kids' breakfast time for 15 because they need to get moving. Without playing, they get done in 15 min. Lunch is not more food so they have a little extra time built in at lunch. Their time is 30 at school and their food is eaten. My husband and I eat in that much time.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Here, kids get 15 min to play, and 15 to eat. Most classes have silent reading, or teacher read aloud right after lunch to give kids time to finish. When you factor in that they have to get in from outside, snowsuits, boots etc off, get out lunches, and eat. 15 min is not enough time even for the grade 7nds IMO. Its not even close to enough for the Kindergarteners who need help getting food open on top of everything else (not to mention the grade 7nds who supervise in the Kindy class during lunch). I hate that it is so short as it cuts into instructional time, but districts cut lunchtime as a way to expand the school day and save on budget. I have actually been in on one of these meetings and the rational goes something like this: Teachers are payed for a set number of hours of instructional time, however, CUPE (bus drivers, janitors etc) are payed per day, so if they increase the instructional time in a day, they can cut 'days' off the school year and not have to pay CUPE workers for those days. Not only does this suck for the CUPE workers, but teachers hate it because you can do a lot in a day, that you cant do in 40 eight minute blocks.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

WSchools get two breaks here, one shorter for a small snack and some play i think around 15-20 minutes and one larger for lunch and more play, I think around 30-45 minutes but these are just approximates. Most primary schools have a policy of a 10ish minute period at the start of lunch where the kids must be sittign and eating then another bell rings or the teacher releases the kids from the classroom and they are free to continue eating if still hungry/ not finished or go and play

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I think it depends on a lot of things, most of all the organization of the lunch-room. I think it would be great to have more time, trouble is most rooms are small and have to spread the kids out over a longer period.. meaning shorter lunches, to get more groups through the lunchline. I know some schools start lunch at 10:45! and go to 1:30 or 2.
Ideally I would like the primary grades to have an hour lunch, have time to get lunch eat properly, fresh good cooked, and then time to play and relax before the 2nd part of the day.
For Highschool not sure it is as necessary, but it might simply be due to they have learned to scarf down their food, and do everything fast without enjoyment. Since this was a spin off of children interacting, why not have a bit more time and use it to the advantage of the students.... mingling, could even have the PE teacher as a Recess aide ;), teaching new games etc.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I wasn't counting the play outside time in my lunch time allotment. They do get time outside, my issue is that they are hustled out there before they have a chance to eat!

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

I remember waiting in line for 15 min sometimes in the lunch line. Then I had only 15 min to eat, shoving food in my mouth. 45 min would be ideal for kids in school.

As for employers, I learned there is no federal law mandating any sort of 15 min breaks or 30 min lunch breaks. The only time you could argue it, if it is in the employers' hand book and then they were not granting it to you. Here is the link: U.S. Department of Labor - Find It By Topic - Work Hours - Breaks and Meal Periods

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Aren't breaks/lunch a state law thing. I know Mass. has laws on how many/how long you have to get as minimum depending on hours worked.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

The schools here give just under an hour. I think 50 minutes - 5 minutes on either side of the lunch break to get the kids settled for lunch and then outside after lunch. I don't think I've ever seen a public school with a lunch program or cafeteria where the kids stand in line for food. They all bring it. I get a full hour and just about every single person I know gets the same.