Elementary students in BVSD are often given very short times for lunch. This is totally opposed to all the values that the district tries to instill through the School Food Project and Garden to Table program. Lunch periods are not standardized--they are at the discretion of each principal at each school. It is time for a standard that comes from the district--along with support from the district to make it doable. I suggest 25 or 30 minutes for lunch for all elementary students. I am aware that adding minutes to the day affects things like bus schedules and instructional time, but giving children only 10 or 15 minutes to eat their lunches (yes, this has happened at our elementary) is simply wrong and uncivilized. I put in a lot of volunteer work to bring Garden to Table to our school (Creekside, the first GTT school, the one the program was piloted at) and I am so sad that what is taught in the classroom and in the garden about food is not practiced in the lunchroom. That is, you can't appreciate your food if all you're concerned about is wolfing it down. Thanks for your consideration.
I agree that 10 - 15 minute lunch periods are not optimal for our children. Changing school schedules is often a complicated and painful process, but I believe that over time we will be able to address this issue as we have the issues of flavor, healthfulness and quality of our food. If we want to positively change our children's eating habits, we need to educate them and this includes where their food comes from, what's in it, what's healthy, what real food taste like and of course the importance of "dining" and sharing food at the table.