Sumary of Kids eat more fruit and vegetables with longer seated lunch time:
- When kids sit down to eat lunch at school, fruits and vegetables may not be their first choice.
- But with more time at the lunch table, they are more likely to pick up those healthy foods.
- If we want to improve children’s nutrition and health, ensuring longer school lunch breaks can help achieve those goals, according to research from the University of Illinois.
- Scheduled lunch time may be longer, but students have to wait in line to get their food.
- This means the amount of time children actually have to eat their meals is much less than the scheduled time,” says Melissa Pflugh Prescott, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at U of I.
- Prescott and study co-authors Xanna Burg, Jessica Metcalfe, and Brenna Ellison compared fruit and vegetable consumption during 10 and 20 minutes of seated lunch time, and the results were clear.
- “During shorter lunch periods, children ate significantly less of the fruit and vegetable parts of their meal, while there was no significant difference in the amount of beverages or entrees they consumed.
- This particularly impacts children from low-income families who participate in the National School Lunch Program and who may not have resources to bring their own lunch from home to avoid lunch line wait times, she adds.