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How long do kids have snack time? - Page 4

post #61 of 101
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

my kids have never attend a school where you can snack during recess. Even at their current, extremely mellow alternative school, you can't eat unless it is the time and place to eat. A lot of kids of messy when they eat.

jaw.gif what? i am absolutely shocked. you mean for many recess does not equal snack time? u mean there is a "right" time and place to eat? the kids in our city are not allowed to eat on the black top but there is a place where they can sit and eat if it is that kind of snack. or on the field under a tree. otherwise they have a granola bar they eat on the way to the play area. to me its a no brainer. the idea that the space to eat snacks does not exist did not even occur to me. in ELEMENTARY school? 


mamazee is that the case in ur school? that they are not allowed to eat during recess? then having a snack time AND recess later makes sense. 

and reminders? upto grade 3 maybe yes. even grade 3 is pushing it. but 4th grade. nooooo!!!!

post #62 of 101

To answer the middle school questions, at my school kids don't have lockers and don't carry books (they have a book at home and every teacher has a class set of books in the room), they have to carry a back pack, and the school recommends that they carry a snack and water.  Middle and high schoolers here do not have recess.  I never said passing period was like a recess. I said kids are hungry before lunch, so my class before lunch is grouchy and sleepy. Someone said maybe it's from sitting in one place for hours without movement. I said they have have movement every 45 minutes when they change classes, so I think it has to do with lack of food. I cannot go more than 2-3 hours without a snack.





post #63 of 101
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

jaw.gif what? i am absolutely shocked. you mean for many recess does not equal snack time? u mean there is a "right" time and place to eat? the kids in our city are not allowed to eat on the black top but there is a place where they can sit and eat if it is that kind of snack. or on the field under a tree. otherwise they have a granola bar they eat on the way to the play area. to me its a no brainer. the idea that the space to eat snacks does not exist did not even occur to me. in ELEMENTARY school? 


mamazee is that the case in ur school? that they are not allowed to eat during recess? then having a snack time AND recess later makes sense. 

and reminders? upto grade 3 maybe yes. even grade 3 is pushing it. but 4th grade. nooooo!!!!

I was surprised, actually, that everyone was saying kids could eat at recess.  I don't have kids in school, but I remember when I was a kid they NEVER let us eat outside lunchtime.


And I remember when my nephew was younger my sister had to advocate for him and set up a special place he could go for a snack if he needed one -- the students in his school were also not allowed to eat outside lunchtime.


It seems like this year the local elementary is finally providing snack times where kids can eat things they brought (my niece is in 3rd grade and this is the first year I've heard of this policy).


post #64 of 101

Originally Posted by meemee View Post


the idea that the space to eat snacks does not exist did not even occur to me. in ELEMENTARY school? 

My kid's school is a K-12 school and eating is only done at certain times and certain places. Part of it is just a hygiene thing. The big kids eat lunch in the lunch room and the home rooms rotate the responsibility for cleaning it at the end of the lunch period. It gets swept and wiped down every day. The little kids in the primary area with a teacher, who is responsible for things like making sure they all wash their hands before they eat. They do their own tidy with help and guidance from the teacher.


post #65 of 101

Yeah, I was thinking kids could eat at recess, but now that I think back on my elementary school experience, eating at recess wasn't really feasible. If you just so happened to have a granola bar or something in your pocket for the entire class period from start to recess, I doubt anyone would mind you eating it on the playground. However, the recess procedure was that you would line up in the hallway outside the classroom (or sometimes inside the classroom) and you'd be escorted as a group to the playground. At the end of recess, an aide would blow a whistle, everyone would line up at a predetermined spot on the pavement, you'd be escorted as a group to the classroom, and then you'd get back to your schoolwork. The routine didn't really allow for you to go to your backpack/cubby/whatever and get food, and there wasn't anywhere to eat on the playground. It'd be easy enough for them to accommodate a kid/parent who requested snack time (but then the teacher would have to babysit and lose his/her break time?), but it wasn't part of the group routine.


So if they haven't changed the procedure in 12 years, kids get three recesses but no snack time.

post #66 of 101

I don't think kids would ever eat at recess around here.


1. it would have to be suggested to the kids as an option it's not going to just occur to them,

2. There would be worries about trash and other concerns,

3. There would be bound to be safety concerns that would require some way to make sure that kids weren't running around with food in their mouths and someone to enforce whatever policies were in place,

4. It gets darn cold around here and on some days kids removing gloves or ski masks for a snack outside would make for a darn uncomfortable recess,

5. Sometimes it takes 1/2 the recess for the kids to just get bundled up to go outside, once outside they really don't end up with much time on those days,

6. Most elementary schools have a perfectly good snack time, usually during reading class when they are either silent reading or being read to, so why deal with all the other concerns if you don't have to.

post #67 of 101
Wow, i am really surprised by how many are against snack time! Here in Ontario we have "nutrition breaks" rather than lunches or snack times. There r two that r evenly spaced throughout the day and the children r supposed to have half a sandwich, a drink and a fruit or something at each. Studies show that children perform better when well nourished and hydrated. Even adults are encouraged to eat a healthy snack every 3 hours to keep metabolism up. Many nutritionists suggest eating mini meals more frequently rather than fewer large meals. I think if they r hungry then what is the problem with scheduling a break during which those who r hungry can have a quick snack. The bigger issue is what snack parents r sending!
post #68 of 101

I think teachers are realizing that students will behave and learn better if they are not starving and that all children are different.  Some may not have the time or the appetite for a large breakfast.  Others might just have a fast metabolism.  Still others may be people who just don't eat a lot in any one sitting.


I think as long as children are kept occupied between the meals and snacks without mindless eating, if they're being offered healthy food and are eating healthy food, they needed the food.  (We all know kids will accept treats *whenever*  ;) )


My son's school starts at 8, snacktime around 10 and lunch at 12.  I don't think that's at all unreasonable.  They ask for a "healthy snack."  I don't know what that definition is...I do send the occasional thing *I* consider a *treat* not a "healthy snack" with him.  My 'rule' on this is that I look at his lunch menu.  If lunch includes a dessert or packaged crunchy item, the snack is not going to be that type of an item.  If breakfast at home was not much protein, the snack will include cheese.  If breakfast at home was high-protein, the snack might be a piece of fruit.  Very simple.

post #69 of 101

oh I send the 'treats' at his request...and I've been in his lunchroom.  I know he's asking for this stuff because the other kids are bringing that.  Snack crackers, packaged breakfast bars, that sort of thing.  Not really junky junk like cheetos, chips, candy bars.  I'd prefer his snack pretty much always be not packaged, but there's "forbidden fruit syndrome" to consider.  Also, I can't send anything with peanuts, and it has to stay fresh packed separately from his lunch in his backpack.  AND he does not want things that take too long to peel.  They eat right before recess and he told me one day he missed recess peeling his clementine.

post #70 of 101
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

So if they haven't changed the procedure in 12 years, kids get three recesses but no snack time.

could this be regional?


i just can't fathom the children don't have the choice. whether they eat or not is not the point. i think 90% of the kids in dd's school don't eat snacks. but a small percentage DOES. for some it maybe goldfish crackers under the tree. some actually even dip into their lunch at recess if they are famished. and yet tonight i heard from a middle school boy that if they want to eat their snack they have to go to the cafeteria area. 

oh and btw i remember last year dd's 3rd grade class got the 'intense bunch'. the teacher knew how snacks and then running around helped them. she made sure they ate something. but that was her own personal thing. 

post #71 of 101

Here in Australia, all kids, in both primary (elementary, most of middle) and high (late middle and high school, except high school here ends at 17 instead of 18) school, have snacktime at recess. It's actually a little surprising for me to hear of it being any other way! As a matter of fact, the snack is CALLED 'recess'. Both DD2 and DSD absolutely refuse to eat recess, though, so only DD1 really has it.

post #72 of 101

My kids go to school here in Hong Kong - but following a mostly British system. They have had both "snack time" and "lunch" since they were in primary school (now in secondary). Sometimes they eat their snack at lunchtime and vice-versa.



post #73 of 101


I think that my kids do need snacks (K5 and second-grader, on the bus at 6:30, lunch at 10:50 and 11:10 respectively, off the bus at 3:12). I'm glad they have the option to snack in the afternoon.


But in terms of cleanliness and fairness, the way the school handles it STINKS. The kids eat in their classrooms, not the cafeteria with its easy-clean floors and tables, and parents are responsible for sending an individual snack each day. Kids who get free lunch are not provided with free snacks. I really wish universally supplied and every kid got to choose between, say, three items and then visited the water fountain on the way back to class. 

post #74 of 101

OP I'm not quite understanding the problem- are your kids being forced to eat during snack? If not, I don't see the problem in giving children the opportunity to eat a quick bite. I too remember being absolutely famished right before lunch and right before school got out. I think many, if not most kids would benefit from a light snack in between lunch at school.


The elementary school where I interned at had a snack time before lunch. Every kid brought their own snack, but it had to be healthy. If any kid forgot their snack or for some reason weren't able to get one that day, the teachers had a stash in their back cupboard that they would give to them. The kids were allowed to walk around and talk with their friends quietly, read, or catch up on work while they ate. Basically it was a 5 minute recess.


Save forcing children to sit and eat something if they don't want to, snack time is a really, really good idea. Kids need a break during school, even if it's only for 5 minutes to get up and stretch their legs, and I think many if not most children do better with more frequent food times.

post #75 of 101

Oh I don't know.  I homeschool.  When my kid is hungry, he eats.  He is 5'5" and weighs 125, so I wouldn't say that way of feeding him causes obesity or anything.  Ha!

post #76 of 101

I'm 38, and when I was a kid in school, there was no snack time, and the general belief seemed to be of 3 squares a day. I knew I was having a square meal at the school cafeteria, because the tray was square and had 4 little square sections, and in each one, was a different food item, lol. That it was a greasy starchy thing with some meat, a roll or mashed reconstituted potatoes, a scoop of canned peaches in heavy corn syrup, and a scoop of some canned vegetable or other (often not even green, but apparently canned corn counted as a vegetable!), didn't matter, it was a square meal because there were 4 different foods! But that's a different issue.


Anyway, I got an inadequate breakfast at home, usually no protein (a cold sugary poptart eaten while walking to the bus stop? And they didn't even taste good!), and then had to wait until 12:30 or 1 to eat again. The bus got us home around 4. My body did adjust to no food and no water for most of the school day, by sort of going into zombie mode. My body learned not to be thirsty at school, (but I drank to make up for it at home after, and my kidneys stayed active at night when they actually had water to work with, so I wet the bed for 2 years) and even though I would get intensely hungry at 10, it would pass, and I would feel listless and sort of fall into a stupor, and just sleepwalk through the rest of the day. When lunch rolled around, I ate mechanically, because I was no longer hungry. The food was usually high-glycemic with little to no roughage or green vegetables (which I was one of the few I knew who was used to eating and liked) and put me back on a mood and blood-sugar roller coaster, so when I got home on the bus (which had an exhaust leak and so we breathed exhaust all the way home) I was a zombie, mentally and physically.


My kids do not go to school (homeschoolers) and they eat rolled oats nearly every morning, sometimes buckwheat pancakes, while I have coffee and toast, and then make something with substantial protein. We had a 10 am snack whether home or out, and a 2 or 3 pm snack depending on whether lunch was closer to 12 or 1, and carry a tray of raw broccoli, some apples, etc for snacks while out and about, and when at home, I take the veggie tray out of the fridge for a quick and easy snack that isn't junk. I am an adult, who should be way beyond the need for snacks, by mainstream Americana's standards, yet I do better on this eating style, have more focus and energy, and don't get periodic energy brownouts the way I used to at school, once right before lunch when I went beyond hungry, and then after lunch, when the mostly-refined-carbs meal had sent my blood sugar and insulin into a tango with the inevitable low dip at the end. That pretty much meant that the only time I felt anywhere close to normal in the school day, was in the morning, on those days that I wasn't already feeling icky from only having had a cold sugary poptart and no protein, for breakfast. But I got used to that feeling being normal for me, all my childhood.


In high school, it was the worst, because I was up at 5:30 to catch a bus that came around 6, that got us to school around 7:30 because the science magnet school put in a "zero hour" as an extra class each day. But I wasn't home til 5, and kids doing athletics or band, weren't home til 7. That's as long a day as big-city office commuters put in, and then there was enough homework to keep us sedated at a desk until we dropped that night. It was a very unhealthy life for our minds and bodies. Prolonged periods of sitting, nutritional inadequacy, fasting, and inadequate sleep, on top of very important and life-affecting hormonal and brain changes, all at a time when your performance sets the tone for your adult future? On top of it, since 7th grade, there was a profitable snack bar at the school cafeteria, where you would be seen as more cool, and less dorky, if you spent your lunch money to eat one slice of greasy vegetable-less pizza, or a giant dish of ice cream, or a deep-fried burrito covered in canned chili sauce and cheese food, instead of the slightly-less-bad school lunch.


A lot of girls saw skipping lunch as a way to be thin, and in this case, it's hard to know what would pack fat on more readily: to eat that kind of food for lunch, or to starve instead, and slow the metabolism to a crawl? At any rate, it was fashionable also, for girls to just simply not eat, and it resulted in achieving some degree of thinness at the cost of balooning up the moment they did eat, and terrible states of mind and emotional volatility the rest of the time. Some of the also went to the bathroom to throw up after eating. Naturally no one ever told their parents, and that behavior was even more rampant in college, amongst females. I used to hide out in the bathrooms as a quiet place to be alone, and was the unwilling audience to many a bulimic student who didn't know I was there, which is how I know. I was shocked just how many did it, when they assumed there was no one else in there. That's a whole other topic though. 


If my kids had to go to school (we homeschool), I am glad if they have snack times these days, and see that as progress. But since they would face negative social pressure if they were seen eating raw broccoli dipped in vinaigrette and liking it, when everyone else is eating teddy grahams and goldfish crackers (empty calories, either in sugary or savory form), I'm glad they don't.

Edited by crunchynerd - 9/16/11 at 6:29am
post #77 of 101
Thread Starter 
I think a big part of my negativity is that from what my dd says, most kids are eating garbage. She asked why I won't buy rice crispy treats for her snacks. That's what most kids have, so why can't she? I don't see how that's helping kids learn. It doesn't seem to be a way to recharge as much as a sugary treat time. And they bring donuts or cupcakes for every birthday or holiday. I don't mind my dd having food if she's hungry, but I don't see this snack time as being necessary (an hour before lunch) or helpful if kids are just getting sugared up.
post #78 of 101

aaaah gotcha.


mmmmm i tread gingerly here. i can understand where you are coming from and i completely agree about getting sugared up. so really its not snack time you are objecting to but what they are eating. so if they did away with snack time then those kids get less sugar. 


but i also understand why those kids are bringing those kinda snacks. and yes it makes me sad that that is what they know as food. i have seen it isnt always about 'income'. it makes me so sad so few people know about good eating. 


i guess mamazee you have to hang in there. one day your dd IS going to understand. 


dd now understands. meaning she really gets it and so consciously chooses healthy over junk in general. and she discovered since she does that she can actually eat more junk - except by then she is not interested in it anymore. its  towards the end of 3rd grade dd had the courage to bring whatever she wanted instead of socially acceptable food (however perhaps she understands more coz she is intimately connected to the process of food growing and distribution). 

post #79 of 101

Crunchynerd, I really loved your post.  I remember living that same way thru school.  Pretty scary to lay it all out like that.  However, goldfish do not reign at all schools. At DDs school they have a very strict wellness policy where food neads to be minimally processed with no sugar, HFCS, etc.  DD brings fruit or sugar snap peas for snack.  Others bring other fruits or veggies.  Actually, when kids did bring cheezits, and a note was sent home stating that if kids wanted cheese crackers they needed to bring cheese and whole grain crackers.  There is hope. 

post #80 of 101

Yeah.  I was going to say that my niece packs a lunch and the other children are always interested in what she has for lunch/snack.  She has never felt pressure to eat snacks "like the other kids have".  If anything, they are interested in trying what she brings.  (That is NOT the experience my sister and I remember from brown-bagging it as elementary kids -- we would try to hide what we were eating so we wouldn't get teased.)

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