Sep 14, 2011

Dear President and First Lady Obama

Dear President and First Lady Obama,

My name is Lisa Noel and I am a full time working mom to three boys.  My two older boys have just begun their 2nd and 3rd grade school year and we have been having issue with them having enough time to eat lunch.  You see my boys are super active (something I am sure the First Lady will be thrilled to hear considering her work on the Let's Move campaign) and as a result are skinny little bean poles.  But they are able to consume a surprising amount of food.  And I'm pretty sure we can all agree that to get through a 7+ hour day, proper nutrition is a must.  So it was shocking to me when I asked my friends on Facebook how long their kids had to eat lunch and got an overwhelming responce of NOT LONG enough.
See below (I have blocked out names and photos since they didn't ask to be part of my soapbox):
But this is just a couple hours of responses from just a few friends who happened to see my post.  This is so disappointing to me.  Could THIS be the answer to much of the problems in our schools?  Are our kids just starving?
While I seriously doubt this is the only (or even the biggest) problem and I have a feeling this will be just the first in a series of thoughts I have to share with you, I think it seems like a GLARING problem that can not be that impossible to fix.  I know you are very busy people with an entire country to look after, but these our kids.  The kids we send off for long days at school hoping they will learn and grow to be tomorrow's leaders but we can't even give them the respect of enough time to eat a lunch.  These kids have their entire lifetime to be rushed and stressed out and not eating properly, but I'm hoping that someone can tell me who I need to talk to start the work to see that our kids are allowed the simple right to have the TIME to eat a healthy lunch.

Lisa Noel, concerned parent


  1. As a lunchroom Mama, I wonder if I can comment on this? Our school is a smaller size than a public school since it is a private school. The kids have the same time to eat but the lines are shorter because of a few things, including having enough volunteers to help distribute the lunches which come preassembled instead of being made one at a time at the lunch line and making sure that the line moves quickly. We also walk around making sure the kids are sitting down, not walking around and playing, reminding them to eat their lunch because lunch was almost over, checking that everyone HAS a lunch and nobody is sick, etc. The younger kids especially need gentle reminding by the lunchroom parents to keep eating. We go around, table to table, opening whatever needs help opening, then back around checking on the tables and talking to the kids and smiling and reminding "Please sit on your bottom and eat because lunch is almost over and you don't want to be hungry. If you are full, that's fine, but if not, please eat. How are you, by the way?" It makes a world of difference. I would be very upset if instead of this, the lunch time was extended, therefore cutting into my child's learning time. I think more volunteers and lunch workers are needed at your schools and they need to be trained what is needed to be done there, in my opinion.

  2. I have talked to many parents who have issues with the times their children are served lunch. Some children get lunch in the morning. Who eats lunch at 10:30-11:00am?
    I also had a daughter who when in high school had issues with weight loss. I could almost call it an eating disorder. The fact that the lunch lines were so long & it took so long for her to get her food did not allow time for her to eat it. We had to get it written into her IEP that she had a pass to leave her class before lunch 5 minutes early so she could be one of the first in line for food. Once she was getting time to eat, she started gaining weight back.
    Not every child can have an IEP to include lunchtime accommodations. This is something that needs to be addressed in whole by the education system.

  3. My girls get 23 minutes from the time they walk in the cafeteria door until the teacher comes to pick them up, which is after they've cleaned up their tables and lined up. I'd estimate they have 12-15 real minutes to actually eat.

    Welcome to Florida!

  4. TOF is such a pokey eater, I often worry if he has enough time to eat. I hope his lunch volunteers are as kind as Polish Mama is to her 'kids'

  5. As a former teacher I have seen slow eating kids actually be told to stop eating, that lunch is over. Those children then throw away food that they might have finished given another 10 or 15 minutes. I hate that we have set up a system that trains us from elementary school to just wolf down our food in a hurry. I absolutely think that this habit this contributes to adult obesity.

  6. How about sending them with sacked lunches if the issue is the hot lunch line? You can send hot lunches and still have them be warm at lunch time...

  7. Crazy! I never thought about it and can't remember what I used to get.


Thanks for leaving me a comment!!