HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Study:Lunch After Recess Prompts Kids to eat more Fruits, Veggies
For decades, school lunch ladies have been puzzling over how to
get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. Now a small-scale study in Utah
suggests a simpler solution, one that even mom would love: Why not simply move
lunchtime so that it falls after recess?
The new study, appearing in the February issue of the journal Preventive
Medicine, shows that waiting until after recess to feed kids increases
per-child fruit and veggie consumption by 54% and prompts 45% more students to
eat any fruits or vegetables at all. The authors theorize that not only are
students hungrier after recess, they're also not as rushed to be
"done" with lunch so they can maximize playtime.
Previous research has shown that waiting until after recess to
serve lunch prompts kids to eat more and waste less overall. It also makes the
lunchroom a calmer, more orderly place.
Recent federal guidelines have essentially forced schools to put
more fruits and vegetables on kids' trays, but just says this alone isn't
enough to motivate kids to eat them.
"It's not always what's on the tray that
matters,". "Sometimes it's
what you were doing before or after lunch that makes the difference."