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Reverse Recess and Lunch

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#1 purpleblackqueen

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:36 AM

My kids school is going to reversing Recess and Lunch as of next year. The reason is because they have had reports of kids not eating their dinner at night.

I am not happy about this because it means lunch will be eaten @ 10.50am and then recess @ 1.10pm, I feel that particularly for my kids they will then come home starving and eat then not eat their dinner @5.30pm.

I also feel that they should have sent home a survey and consulted the entire parent body.

At the moment my kids will eat 3 things when they get home (that is my limit) and 8/10 they still eat their dinner.


Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

I haven't heard of that before, and really if kids don't eat their dinner at night it's more likely to be because they have eaten too much AFTER school.

#3 Heather11

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:41 AM

If you still limit what they can eat after school then it won't be an issue.  You can also give them more to eat at recess.

#4 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

My kids school has lunch at 11am and recess at 2pm

#5 Mamabug

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

The reason our school reversed the two breaks was to give the children more fuel in their little bodies/brains to see the day out.

With the new set-up, there is fruit break (crunch and sip, whatever your school calls it!) around 10am. Then lunch is from 11.20am, with a big chunk of that as play time, then they re-group to sit and eat before going back into class. Recess is around 2pm.

This spaces the food out at good intervals, and has also increased the amount of lunch eaten as the kids are hungry after running around, and not leaving their lunch so they can go and play sooner.

I have not noticed any difference in the amount my kids want to eat for afternoon tea - usually just a piece of fruit or some homemade pikelets and a drink of either milk or water. If they want more, I say no as dinner won't be too far away.

#6 froggy1

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Our school actually does that. They didn't give dinner as a reason. They have found that kids concentrate heaps better if they eat most of their food at 11am. It also helps with those kids who don't eat breakfast or don't get fed a proper breakfast. The kids have 2 hours of class, have lunch or part of their lunch (11am), then they work better and have a top up snack at 1pm. My DD1 does fine - I give her quite a big afternoon tea, but still have no problems with her eating a good dinner. It makes a lot of sense to me - the school's focus is ensuring they are getting the most out of the kids in their learning time.

#7 CalEliKat

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

I don't understand the issue.  You tell your children to eat their sandwich or whatever at afternoon recess and their recess at 'lunch'.  What is the big deal?

#8 Bob-the-skull

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

DS1's last school had it...

honestly it made no difference to DS1... he was still eating the same amount during the day.

the school liked it because kids weren't eating sugar first thing when lots of the main learning was being done Tounge1.gif

#9 KT1978

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

Our school does it, it also limits the time they are exposed to stronger sun in the middle of the day.

They can always have a smaller lunch and larger recess, or if they want to, eat their lunch at recess time.

I don't think it will matter too much.

#10 Julie3Girls

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:00 PM

Our school changed to this year ago. Nothing to do with dinner eating habits though!

Lunch at 11 for an hour
Recess at 1:30 for 20 minutes

Reasons/advantages ...
Recess tends to be short, with no enforced eating time, they found a lot of kids didn't want to eat at recess, preferring to play. So by lunch time they were starving.

Having lunch at 11 gives them 2 solid hours for the morning session, where their main literacy work happens. Lunch then gives them time to eat a decent amount (enforced eating time), and plenty of time to burn off excess energy.
Sets them up well for another 1.5hr of productive learning.
Recess is only short, and then back to class for the last hour for what is generally more relaxed, particularly the younger years, doing craft etc.

Lunch at 11 also means their main play time is early in the day, before the massively hot time frame around 1-3pm So much better from a sun safe point of view.

As for after school, I don't think it makes too much difference. They still have recess, and I limit their afterschool eating - no snacking after 4pm so they have plenty of time to build up their appetite again before dinner.

#11 steppy

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

Wow how weird. If that was going to happen I would have guessed the reason as being that students are not getting breakfast, not that some are not eating dinner. It doesn't really matter if they have a light dinner, does it?

#12 Funwith3

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE (kerrie23 @ 06/12/2012, 12:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't understand the issue.  You tell your children to eat their sandwich or whatever at afternoon recess and their recess at 'lunch'.  What is the big deal?

This....its up to your child when they eat what.

#13 PrizzyII

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

DD's school is like this now. All it took was one incredibly vocal parent who happens to be the President of the P&C to mention how her child doesn't eat breakfast and is hungry at 10.30 to have it switched. It doesn't make any difference to DD's day really.

#14 Tyfle Hour

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:07 PM

Our school does lunch at first break (about 11ish).  By that stage the kids are starving, having eaten breakfast about 6am.  I think it's a sensible idea.  Then some arvo tea when they get home to see them through to dinner.  Makes perfect sense to me.

#15 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

Never heard of it before.   Sounds a bit strange.  Ds would be absolutely starving, he's already starving when he gets home.
I wonder if it really is as easy as just getting your child to eat their sandwich at recess?  ds used to do that sometimes because he was hungry and it was always discouraged by the teacher, also could be tricky if you have all the other kids eating the opposite.
Would seem more to me the issue is children not eating their breakfast so they are starving mid morning and eating too much after school then not eating their dinner.

#16 Julie3Girls

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

Would seem more to me the issue is children not eating their breakfast so they are starving mid morning and eating too much after school then not eating their dinner

Even if kids do eat breakfast, that's at 7 or so in the morning. Long time through till 1 or later for lunch.
My girls do eat breakfast, but are still quite happy to eat lunch at 11. They have been up for hours, working hard in class. It's a good long break.
It works.
Only disadvantage is that on the weekend, they tend to like to have an early lunch.

#17 protart roflcoptor

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:20 PM

My kids primary started this 5-6 years ago. It works well, Julie3girls has given all the reasons/advantages for the policy. Kids need a decent refuelling by 11ish to get through the day.

Let it go Liz, you have enough to occupy you at the moment.

#18 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 06/12/2012, 01:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Even if kids do eat breakfast, that's at 7 or so in the morning. Long time through till 1 or later for lunch.

It works.

but isn't that what recess and brain break is for?

ds eats 3 weetbix, a piece of toast, milo for breakfeast
several pieces of fruit for recess and usually something else like a muesli bar, up n go, yoghurt tub etc
then all morning they are allowed to nibble on dried fruit, cut up fruit, crackers etc

how could they be starving?

unless they aren't getting an adequate breakfast.

#19 Therese

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

Our school has fruit break about 10am, lunch at 11.20 which has the long play break and then afternoon tea at 2pm.

It seems to work fine.

#20 Julie3Girls

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

As I said, a lot of kids don't bother to eat at recess, when it was earlier. It's a short break, with no enforced eating time, the kids prefer to play.

Crunch and sip is a 5 minute fruit break at our school. Not particularly long lasting energy, and no time to run off the fidgets.

I also didn't say my girls were starving at 11 - but they are happy to eat then. With lunch at 1pm, it is longer and more kids are going to be hungry and getting fidgety in class.

At any rate, it showed a lot of positive results at our school when it was brought initially as a trial. So they stuck with it.  Got to admit, I haven't heard any complaints about not eating dinner due to early lunch.
And honestly, during the hot weather, I am just as happy that their long break is that little bit earlier in the day - I'd hate my kids to be stuck outside between 1 and 2.

Edited by Julie3Girls, 06 December 2012 - 12:28 PM.

#21 purpleblackqueen

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

Thanks for the replies, I did at first think this was strange, but you lot have changed my thinking.

I agree that it is a good idea, for many of the reasons sated by you all.

#22 wombat

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

I have a friend who works in a school where they are trialling this.  
She said it is because a large percentage of kids are sent to school without breakfast, so are starving by recess.  FWIW she doesn't agree with it and says it is causing problems for the kids who do eat breakfast, with some parents of these kids complaining they don't want to eat breakfast anymore because lunchtime is at 11 now.  Sounds to me like another attempt to let parents off the hook and make schools responsible for basic tasks that parents used to be responsible for.

#23 Heather11

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:44 PM

several pieces of fruit for recess and usually something else like a muesli bar, up n go, yoghurt tub etc

That is more than what my children eat at lunch. Definitely more than what they eat at recess.  They don't have enough time to eat that amount at recess especially if like Julie3Girls has stated they want to go and play.  

So in effect your child is eating what I would say is a lunch equivalent amount of food early in the day.

#24 lovingmother

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (lsolaBella @ 06/12/2012, 12:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My kids school has lunch at 11am and recess at 2pm

My kids school is the same, We even Have fruit Break at 10am

#25 JustBeige

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (lsolaBella @ 06/12/2012, 12:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My kids school has lunch at 11am and recess at 2pm

Same.  My two just eat what they want at either break.    I dont know why the school bothers to do that to be honest as both breaks are only 30mins each anyway.

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