Nutrition Unscrambled

Recess Returning to Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
October 26th, 2011

Some of the CPS schools are preparing to implement an important part of the school day that has been abandoned, recess (activity). Although I am happy to hear about this, at the same time it is a mere 20 minutes for the entire 7.5 hour school day. I do feel this is a step in the right direction, but of course more could be done. Think of how you would feel if you only got a 20 minute break during a daylong workshop!

What can a child do in 20 minutes? A LOT!! I have been to seminars recently where they have been discussing recess before lunch. I am not sure when CPS is considering their 20 minute break, but I think they would appreciate better attention spans , better behavior and expected less plate waste.

CPS is taking this seriously with many roadblocks including space, equipment, getting children to be active during the time and more. The first year may be challenging, but I believe it will overall improve the school environment. I am happy they are being creative with small spaces and equipment. Kids will play if you give them the ability (more so time and approval to be active).

One thing I was very pleased to see is that parents had an impact on this decision. They felt unruly children were a result of silent lunches and no recess. The parents and community organizations like Community Organizing and Family Issues started advocating for recess in 2004. It is great to see parents taking a role in the health and education of their children

*Photo Credit: Playworks

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Nutrition Unscrambled  is written by nutrition experts with the Egg Nutrition Center, which is funded by the American Egg Board. It is monitored and maintained by the public relations agency of record. The mission of the Egg Nutrition Center is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information and the acknowledged leader in research and education related to eggs. For more information, click here.

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Mitch Kanter, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about
Mitch, click here.
Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD is the Senior Director, Nutrition Education at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Marcia, click here.
Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Anna, click here.

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