Lunch Procedures for Recess First Lunch Plan

Posted in General Info

Why recess first? Around the country, a small but growing number of schools are questioning this long-standing tradition, noticing that scarfing down that PB&J before racing outside to play kickball can have negative effects on a student's behavior and health.

Proponents argue that eating first and then exercising can result in numerous nurse visits for headaches and stomachaches. Students excited about the opportunity to play outside rush through or entirely skip their lunch, leaving them hungry later in the day and creating more cafeteria waste.

Schools that schedule recess before lunch report that students eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more milk, waste less food, and are better behaved on the playground, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom, according to an article in the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. Some schools also note a decrease in visits to the school nurse and more instruction time as benefits of the schedule switch.

1.    Students are sent to wash their hands (or may do so in class there is a sink) and then dismissed to recess.
a.    “Lunch Basket” leaders take the class lunch basket down to the cafeteria before going out to recess

2.    When the grade level bell rings, students enter the cafeteria according to their lunch choice (Choice #1, #2, #3, Cold lunch).

a.    Choices #1 & 2 through the far doors near the Kindergarten playground (north)
b.    Choice #3 and cold lunch through the closest cafeteria doors (west)


3.     Students use hand sanitizers at the entrances to the cafeteria.

4.    Students will sit with their grade level.  Grade levels may have been given a topic or question to discuss during “Cafeteria Conversations” as part of the Morning Meeting.

5.    When students are done eating, they may throw away their trash and stack their trays. Cold lunch bags/boxes may be returned to the class lunch basket.

6.    Students remain at their tables until the end of the lunch period.  Teachers will stand at the cafeteria doors to signal that it is time for their class to line up (both interior doors to the cafeteria will be used for pick up).