Positive and Negative Effects of Eating in Class

The school nutrition association found that 60% of students in the U.S. getting food from school and having little time to eat in the designated lunch and brunch periods, a lot of students need to finish their food in class. Many teachers disapprove of this practice and have banned in-class snacking, but nevertheless, students continue.

Students eating in class creates problems because when students are finishing up their food in class they will often unknowingly drop crumbs of food onto the floor and desks. These crumbs attract all different types of insects and rodents into the classrooms, such as mice and cockroaches. Furthermore, in order to keep these animals out, the custodians have to work tirelessly to keep the rooms clean of crumbs.

Custodian Francisco Lopez said, “Every custodian has a route to do… I usually do the A one and the offices and all the hallways.” Rainy days “are really bad because kids cannot eat outside”. He continued, “It makes [so] much more mess because a lot of garbage is left in the classroom and everything, but there’s not much we can do after the rain.”

With there are many negatives to allowing students to eat in classes, there are also positives. For instance, it allows kids to focus better.

Sophomore Jonathan Wang believes “Eating in class is a great thing because it can make you unhungry, it can relax you in stressful times. It’s just soothing, it helps to be able to focus on your work and schoolwork.”

Wang added to help people focus on the classroom food, “In general especially when your mind is wandering and you need something to bring you back into the classroom.”

When asked about the negatives that come along with permitting eating in classrooms Wang explained, “Eating in class can be a little disruptive sometimes and you can leave trash on the ground.”

Sophomore Alex Bruno also agreed with him saying food can “help kids focus more in class and it can keep them super energized and it will overall allow them to do better on tests.”

Acknowledging the negatives as well he said, “Some disadvantages are teachers complaining about crumbs because of all the animals.”

He added, “A lot of students can be really disrespectful about how they leave their food.”

With many students complaining about how there isn’t enough time to finish their food they are forced to eat in class.

Lopez explained that “I know that some teachers let them eat inside… they should not be [allowed] to. Classrooms should be nice and clean all day long for the kids to be in and that’s minimum.

Wang disagreed with him saying, “45 minutes is not enough time to eat, you know, those foods that we have overlap into our sixth and seventh period”.

Students think that with the lack of time that is given at lunch and brunch they have to eat in their classes in order to stay engaged in class even though they leave crumbs behind in the class. It is almost impossible for teachers to find a way to keep students fed and engaged while keeping the classrooms clean but students hope the school will continue to find a way to make it work.