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Should Kids be Allowed to Have a Snack at School?

Hourly wage employees typically get two 15-minute breaks a day plus lunch, but some elementary school children are being expected to work straight through.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to snacks at school.

Believe it or not, in some school districts across the country, snack time has become a thing of the past. Kindergarteners are still being allowed a snack break in a few places, probably more for the need to teach manners and social skills than out of a desire to feed hungry bellies. But, after that, schools seem to be moving toward a “lunch-is-enough” model, even if that lunch happens at 10:30 a.m. and the child doesn’t walk through his or her front door until after 4 o’clock. And, from what I am hearing, in those cases, those children are racing through the front door right to the refrigerator door in search of something to eat. I know that my third-grader does. And, he’s not looking for cookies. An, apple, a banana…anything will do. That’s a mother’s tip-off that a child truly is hungry. Some days I am actually serving dinner before 5 p.m. to try to calm his clamoring tummy. I thought it was just my child, until I spoke to parents in the Lehigh Valley and beyond who are experiencing the same thing.

So, here’s what we want to know:

Should kids be allowed to have a snack at school? If you have a school-age child, is he/she allowed to have a snack break during the school day?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Crestor Januvia November 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Let's take it out of your bloated pension....
Crestor Januvia November 15, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Oh ya... they can't afford a snack... it might put a crimp on their cigarette money, or lottery ticket money. Always the whining about the parents who "can't afford it". Too bad then. Their kids get no snacks. Maybe the children will go home and ask "Mommy, why are you such a sucky parent, blowing all my snack money on yourself". Oh I know... they are struggling.... they really can't afford a box of Trix every two weeks. BUMS.
Crestor Januvia November 15, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Amyolene,The state is too busy paying for your bloated pensions, and the district is too busy paying your bloated salaries and bloated gold plated benefits. It's all about the kids, remember? Take a pay cut, or drop your pension rate, or pay $4000 a year for your family health care like we all do. Then there will be plenty of money. Until you do that, shut your trap about the State no paying. We pay enough in taxes to pay for your bloated pay and benefits.
Lin Higgins March 01, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Lunch and breakfast is required at my school but snack is not. I do allow snack break but if a child can't control there behavior they may lose the snack and have to eat it at dismissal or at home. Some kids bring snack some do not. I use to buy apples for those who forgot or animal crackers. They went quickly but I did not mind. Now policy has changed no snacks or food can be shared by anyone. No more lessons with food or parties. So now if a kid does not have a snack they go without. So sad that we are ripping the joys and treats out of being a child. I am all for healthy but a treat once in a while made great memories when I was a kid,
TheBoyInTheShadows March 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Heather kids need to have a snack in school so they have enough fule to make it till lunch or if after lunch then till they get home and i would know i am a 6th grader and i am failing because i am always to hungary to work so i try to sleep then get in trouble

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