According to a new study, the time children have for lunch at school affected the food choices they made and how much they consumed. The study found that students with 20 minutes or less to eat at lunchtime rarely finish their meal and may make unhealthier food choices.
The researchers found that students with 20 to 30 minutes of lunch period made a start on their entrée, vegetables and milk - but finished nothing. Children with less time got through 13 percent less of their entrées, 12 percent less of their vegetables and 10 percent less of their milk.
The research also found that the rushed group made a fruit selection 44 percent of the time compared with those with more time to eat, who made a fruit selection 57 percent of the time.
Making lunch periods longer is not always feasible, so the answer, according to the researchers, is for schools to look at ways to get students to their meal on time and through the lunch lines more quickly. Having arrived late or stood in a serving line, some students had only 10 minutes at the table.