Every evening when I come home from work, I ask my son about his lunch. Most days he gives it high praise: "It was double fantastic awesome!" Some days he gives me helpful criticism: "Please pack the crackers and the cheese separately so the crackers don't get soggy." Our deal is that he has to bring home everything that he didn't eat so I can make sure that he is consuming enough healthy food.
One day he brought home more than half his lunch, because he didn't have enough time to eat it all. His lunch that day had required some assembly on his part, but in retrospect, I could see how he had difficulty in assembling and devouring it during lunchtime.
In my son's school, they only get 20 minutes for lunch. And I worry that the short window of time is encouraging him to eat too fast (which I already have a problem with). But at least I am sure he is getting the full 20 minutes.
A study of Seattle schools across one district found that none of the schools gave their students the required 20 minute break for lunch. The study discovered that the average eating time clocked in at 13 minutes.
That is clearly not enough time to eat.
There are lots of rules in my son's school (like silent lunches) that force students to focus on eating. And my son is still in love with the fact that he brings a packed lunch to school every day, so he doesn't have to spend his eating time selecting his hot lunch. All of this reading about short lunches now makes me pay attention to what I am packing: Easy-open containers, no assembly required and portion control have become my routine. If I do my job right, he won't be ravenously hungry by the end of the day.
How long does it take you to eat lunch? Share with me in the comments.