JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According
to The American Academy of Pediatrics, it's recommended that students get at
least 20 minutes for lunch. However, that excludes the time it takes waiting in
line or walking from class to the cafeteria.
"When they're only given
15 minutes they're probably just shoving food in their mouth," said NEA Baptist
Wellness Program Manager Jennifer Martinez. "They're not really tasting the
food, they're not chewing it properly which can lead to digestion problems and
they don't know if their stomach is completely full."
Westside Middle School
Principal, Pam Dooley said due to state requirements, there's only so much time
in the day to fit everything in.
"We have a six hour day
and we have so many mandates from the state that we're required to have P.E. for
so many minutes, and we have to teach everything else," she said. "It's really
hard to carve out five to ten minutes longer."
Martinez feels this is an
issue that the government needs to look into.
"I know that teachers do
what they can, they try and get them out there as much as possible when they
have any off time," she said. "I know they're doing the best they can with what
they've been given but I think the government should rethink it in general."
Dooley said their lunch
time does give students time to finish eating, but Martinez said the issue is
not finishing lunch but rather finishing it in a healthy manner.
"Mindful eating is sitting
down for your meal, completely tasting it, chewing your food thoroughly and
given the full 20 minutes for your stomach to digest the meal," Martinez said.