Why Are Kids in Amarillo & Canyon Coming Home From School So Hungry?
I want to start this by saying I am NOT getting on the case of Amarillo and Canyon ISD's in any way, shape or form.
I'm simply speaking from experience with my own kids as well as the reactions of some others in the community.
Over the course of the last few weeks, my oldest son has been coming home with leftover food in his lunchbox. We're not talking about the bits and crusts of things he just didn't feel like eating, we're talking full sandwiches and more.
This wouldn't seem TOO out of the ordinary for him, he's a notoriously slow eater. However, when we asked him why he kept coming home with so much food, his explanation was startling.
He said that once he gets in the lunchroom and sits down, he's got approximately 10-12 mins to slam his lunch down before they have to go outside for recess. So we were a little skeptical of what he was saying, so my wife decided to go have lunch with both of our boys on Friday.
She found that what he was saying wasn't entirely wrong. We came away from the whole situation relatively frustrated with it. My wife decided to see if this was happening across the board, so she took to a mom's group on Facebook. I've covered up her name and profile pic as well as those who responded for privacy.
There is the initial post she put in the group. The responses started to flow in fast and furiously.
The early responses show this is NOT something that is limited to just my kids school. This apparently happens all across the school district! So why aren't the kids getting enough time to eat their lunch before being rushed outside for recess?
I decided to take the advice given and made a phone call to the school.
The Lunchtime Dilemma Resolved
I spoke with the assistant principal and she stated that they actually do not have to rush outside for recess. She went on to say that the personnel in the lunch room are tasked with telling the kids they can finish up their lunch before heading outside to play and enjoy recess.
I mentioned maybe it was something the kids aren't aware of, especially if there are so many parents that complain about the same issue. I was told that it would be reiterated to the children that they are more than welcome to finish their lunches and that they aren't being forced to go outside at that exact moment.
I was happy to hear that, and I expressed it would be something I explain to both my kids. It was refreshing to have someone call me back in regards to an issue and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the school and its administrators for doing so. Knowing that it's on my kids to finish their lunch and that they don't need to be rushed outside makes me feel a whole lot better.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask
So if your child comes home saying they don't have enough time to finish their lunch, check in with their administrators and also ask your children if they're aware of any policy that says they are more than welcome to stay to eat. While I agree exercise and recess are important things for these kids, so is their nutrition. After all, anyone with an empty stomach can become 'hangry'.