ALHS students call for longer lunch periods

Imagine having to walk to the lunchroom from the other side of the school. Once you get there you go to your lunch table, set down your bag, get in line and wait. Then you wait for the lunch workers, or administrators to open the doors with everyone pushing and shoving to hurry up and get their lunch. At that point, you’re in the line waiting to get your food. There are several food selections but there are lines everywhere. Once you get your food you go sit down and enjoy your lunch, you only have 10 minutes or less to eat. We spend so much time waiting for our food, that we have little to no time to eat. Longer lunch periods are a discussion for schools all around. So many kids go without eating, or without eating their whole meal. If we had longer lunches, kids would have more time to eat their lunch and consume the food completely and not rushed. Eating lunch quickly is concerning for your health because it makes you get full too fast and once you get full too fast you’re going to be hungry in a short period of time, which leaves you at risk for obesity and overconsumption. That’s leaving kids hungry for the rest of the school day. Some kids can’t go home and eat so when they don’t finish their lunch or get full too quickly it could be the only thing they get to eat that day. 

In the article Starved by the Bell, Cindy Jung discusses how short school lunches can affect students’ consumption and the lunches they pick. The article also talks about how some foods take longer to eat and when kids don’t eat them, they lose vitamins and nutrients. ¨Time-crunched lunch periods also cultivate the habit of fast eating, which makes students more likely to end up overfilling their stomachs. Therefore, the risk of obesity from overconsumption is also worrisome, both for children afflicted by food insecurity and for those who are not.¨

Schools preach about healthy choices and healthy food, but what’s the point of healthier lunches if you don’t get the proper time to consume them? Jung also mentions ¨Providing healthier meals are meaningless unless it comes hand in hand with efforts to ensure a sufficiently long time for kids to eat them.¨ 

There are some ways that we can extend longer lunches at Abraham Lincoln High School such as taking time out of advisement classes. Not many students use their advisements and it’s more like a time for kids to talk or even for teachers to catch up on some work. We do have some reasons for advisement like the extra time to do some school work but we could shorten the length of it. 

Assistant Principal at Abraham Lincoln High School, Rob Lindquist, does not think we should have longer lunches and we should actually have shorter lunches.¨I honestly am on the side that would want shorter lunch periods. This could then give time back to the end of the day (the 8th period is 5 minutes shorter already). Most students are able to eat and socialize in a good 15-20 minutes, then it gets a little restless.” Lindquist has also looked at it from a student’s point of view. ¨Believe it or not, I was a student once. I do think some students would like a longer lunch, but I feel a majority feel it’s either appropriate or shorter would be better; for a variety of reasons. From a student’s perspective, this is a social time to see classmates they wouldn’t normally see.¨

Seeing other classmates during lunch is always a bonus for students, and Lindquist is right, students do like this time to talk, but that’s not the only reason students love going to lunch. Lots of students don’t have enough time to get breakfast and don’t eat until lunch. Lunch also gives students a little brain break. It gives them time to do something other than listening to someone teach or focused on an assignment.  Lunch gives your brain a break, giving you a chance to recharge, and get prepared for the last half of the day.