Parents, schools and public health officials have been struggling for years to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables at lunch. Now a new study may have found a simple way to make a big difference.
Simply by scheduling recess before lunch, instead of after, more kids will eat their fruits and vegetables, say researchers.
This new study, published in Preventive Medicine, shows that this small no-cost change, holding recess before lunchtime, can increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 54 percent.
“Recess is often held after lunch so children hurry to ‘finish’ so that they can go play — this results in wasted fruits and vegetables,” explains co-author David Just, PhD, of Cornell University in a press release, “However, we found that if recess is held before lunch, students come to lunch with healthy appetites and less urgency and are more likely to finish their fruits and vegetables.”