Do you have snack time built into your schedule?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I didn't have a snack time last year. Actually, I never have. This summer, we had a snack time (15 min) built into our summer school schedule and I have loved it. It was right during the first part of our writing. Sure, I have had issues with trash, noisy wrappers, etc, but I have loved it for me, too. It has helped keep my energy up. I have brought a light lunch and a piece of fruit for snack.

    I am a pretty healthy eater. It's not easy for me, as I am also an 'emotional eater.' But I try really hard. Anyway, I really want to make sure this snack time has only healthy snacks. The kids eat enough swill for breakfast and lunch at school already. The last thing I want is for kids to be stuffing themselves with Kool-Aid and Cheetos during snack time.

    My school is Title 1, and let's face it, junk food tends to be cheaper than healthy food, so when kids brought snacks last year for recess, it was 95% junk. Am I overstepping bounds by asking parents to send only healthy foods? What should I do if kids start showing up with junk food?

    Maybe I'm giving this too much thought, and should just forget it :dizzy: But at the same time, we all know first-hand what sugar and carbs can do to kids' energy levels and developing brains...
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Our students have a snack right at the beginning of their 30 minute morning recess. Some teachers let the kids eat in the classroom 5 minutes before recess--it gets them outside faster when the bell rings. At my previous school (something I hope continues at my new one) we had bins of fruit, veggies (individual packages of carrots or celery), and cereal out in the front foyer. Students could go down and get a snack if they needed one.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Not at my old school- we did 'working' snacks.
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Some teachers built snack time into their schedules, particularly in the younger grades.If older students needed a snack, they could unobtrusively eat one during specific times of day.

    Nobody regulated what the students ate. IMO, that is a parental choice. We might not like it or agree with it, but I will be honest here. If a child is eating crap for breakfast, lunch and dinner, mandating a healthy snack will not make any difference in their diet.

    Keep in mind, also, please, the socioeconomics of your school. It might be cheaper to send in a baggie of Cheetos than an apple. But a main issue is taht people in poor neighborhoods have less access and transportation to stores that sell quality food at a low price. They might not have a car to go to the grocery store and have to walk to the corner store. the Cheetos might be all they can get.

    On the flip side, my family eats healthy. There are also times we eat for convenience. If I want to send my children to school with a bag of Cheetos, that is my concern only. It doesn't mean they won't have baked chicken and salad for dinner.

    You COULD request that students only bring water to drink. That way, there is less mess.
     
  6. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    We do not have a separate snack time, but the students are allowed to bring a snack out to recess. It must be healthy though. No junk food. I do not think this it out of line. I would make it clear to both parents and students before school starts. If students show up with junk food, I remind them that they can only have healthy snacks. Last year, I only had one student bring a snack out of both third grade classes. My first three years of teaching I didn't have any students choose to do so. Our lunch period was right after recess so I found it really unnecessary, but that was the policy.

    I also experienced snack time for the first time this year at summer school. I was under the impression that the only reason we had it was because we didn't offer breakfast as we do during the school year. I, honestly, would not have ten to fifteen minutes to give up everyday for a snack.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Our whole school stops for a 15 minute snack break before our morning recess. We encourage healthy lunches and most parents strive to do this.
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I considered this, too. I heard a segment on NPR some time ago about families in poverty who don't have access to healthy foods even though they may want to. Without reliable transportation, a lot of times they can only grocery shop at at a convenience store or mini-mart. Also, it's my understanding that a lot of food banks give out unhealthy food because that is what in their supply at any given moment, but I could be wrong on that.

    A lot of it stems from education, or rather a lack thereof. In summer school, we have been working on opinion and persuasive writing. I had my kids watch a short video on BrainPop Jr about sugar and how to make good choices about food. The idea was to get them thinking about healthy eating and "persuading" their friends to make better choices, listing health reasons and alternatives. I was amazed at how many kids started reading the labels of their juice and chocolate milk at lunchtime. It really got the conversation started about how much sugar was in their lunch, without any prompting from me.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Only Pre-K does snack in my area which I feel is a bit of disservice to the kiddos because many of my first graders are "starving" and distracted by lunch time. Last year I had a little boy who burst into tears about 1.5 hours before lunch EVERYDAY because he was ready to eat.

    The guidance counselor finally made an allowance that he would be allowed to go to the nurse and eat a small snack each day that his mom would send in bookbag.

    A lot of people would probably say, "Well they should eat breakfast in the morning" but I don't think that's fair because not everyone likes to eat when they first get up.

    I should know because I've always been that kind of person...I have to be up and at 'em for at least 1 - 3 hours before I feel like eating.

    The only issue I would have is when to stick it in. Our kids have breakfast in the classroom and the P says they're supposed to eat and work at the same time which is messy and hard for six year olds.
     
  10. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I teach 1st grade.
    I am a health nut. I believe that healthy eating habits start from birth. I do randomly talk about my own snacks that I bring and what vitamins I'm getting and the benefits of what I'm putting in my body. Sometimes I'll read a label (posed as mine) and talk about how unhealthy it is. I just want the kids to be aware that just because it says Fruit Snack does not mean it is fruit. Or just because it says "Natural" does not mean it is healthy. I also teach them how to read ingredients and nutrition facts. We even do an experiment. A child leaves apples out and they eventually rot. A child leaves gummies out, they don't go bad. We talk about preservatives, etc.
    I do not allow chips as snack - not only is it not healthy, but it can ruin my books and other stuff.
    *I do not have a certain snack time...my students can eat whenever they get hungry as long as it is not messy (like cheetos/chips) and I tell them I do ask parents to send in healthy snacks (however I don't take away snacks that aren't).
    *I only allow water (healthy and won't totally ruin if spilled).
    *I make a big deal when a child brings a healthy snack. My last class had contests to see who could bring in the healthiest snacks. On any given day you'd see peppers (yes, peppers), grapes, carrots, apples, etc.
    *I work in a high socioeconomic area.
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2013

    When I taught 1st we had Title 1 people come to our room, so before they came in we did morning snack 9:15ish to about 9:30. We'd use that time for bathroom break/snack. The other 1st grade teacher did a morning & afternoon snack... I only did morning. She told me she did both because of the length of time from lunch until they get home...
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2013

    We have a working snack during our math rotations in the morning. It is required to be a healthy snack, and if it isn't, they are not allowed to eat it.
     
  13. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I have a snack time before the kids go home because my kiddos have _long_ bus rides. I asked for granola bars, goldfish crackers, popcorn---those sorts of things. Parents supplied, and I supplied when those ran out.
     
  14. Toy_03

    Toy_03 Companion

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    Aug 1, 2013

    Last school year my school had an extra hour added on to the day (low grade school) and they had a snack time that was mandatory. This year we won't have the extra hour, which meana no snack time.
     
  15. littlemiskinder

    littlemiskinder Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2013

    I teach full day kindergarten and our lunch period isn't until 12:30pm so I absolutely have snack time. I usually try to have it after our special (usually around 10:30). It's a great time to give the students a little break, I let them use the bathroom, and they are allowed to use whisper voices while they eat. Once snack time is over they have to clean up and then we get back to work.
     

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