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Half hour lunch periods aren't cutting it, why they need more

A district spokesperson told me right off the bat that the district would like for the lunch periods to be longer.

MINNEAPOLIS — The School Nutrition Association says the 25 minutes to half an hour a typical school schedules for lunch just isn't enough.


Think about it... the bell rings and students flock to the cafeteria. They may stop at the restroom, then they socialize and wait in line for maybe ten minutes, leaving them 15 minutes at best to eat, clear their tables, and go back to class.

It's an imperfect timeline.

I wanted to know what it was like around the Twin Cities, so I asked Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools about it.

Minneapolis said, yes, it's true. The major high schools there average a lunch period of a half an hour.

Elementary schools reserve 50 minutes for lunch and recess, and 20 minutes of that has to be for lunch.

Middle schools also have to have a 30 minute lunch period.

Cross the river and through the woods in St. Paul, a district spokesperson told me right off the bat, that the district would like for the lunch periods to be longer.

What are they now?

Got a few examples:

  • Battle Creek Elementary: 30 minutes
  • Battle Creek Middle: 25 minutes
  • Central High School: 30 minutes

What does this all mean?

Remember what the school nutrition folks said that 25 to 30 minutes is too short. So by their measure, we are falling short here at home.

It matters because research tells us our kids do better in school when they are nourished, and their brains literally work better if they aren't hungry.

Look, I'm not telling you what to think. All I'm saying is maybe this information is literally food for thought. And as a state that likes to lead, how could we do that in this area?

Love to hear what you think.


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