Snacking Throughout the Day: Should It Be Allowed?

Giovanna Sabini-Leite, Writer

It is ten o’clock on a Monday morning and it’s been about four and a half hours since you’ve eaten anything.  Lunch starts in an hour but you remember that today you have fourth lunch, which means waiting for another hour and a half. Your stomach growls, you are feeling tired, your energy is low. At this point, you are thinking about sneaking some food while the teacher turns around.

“Adolescence is the most crucial stage in the life of an individual” writes Dr. Beena Johnson. During this “crucial stage” the brain develops psychologically and physically. Eating throughout the day provides energy for our growing brains. However, in many schools, snacking throughout the day is prohibited by school policy. 

By allowing students to snack during the school day, studies show that students are more successful and more open to new ideas. Foods high in protein provides the amino acids responsible for the brain’s neurotransmitters, chemicals that communicate information throughout the body. Amino acids also regulate moods and help with sleep.  They encourage concentration and help energize students. Foods high in iron, like spinach, help alertness by carrying oxygen to body cells.

That being said, it is not just snacking that is important, but also the type of snacks you choose. Yes, everyone likes eating pretzels, popcorn, and chips, but they do not have any nutritional value. Instead, eating trail mixes, fresh and dried fruits, veggies, and protein bars have nutritional values and are preferable choices.

The recent increase in food allergies is, of course, a serious concern, as is mess in a new school like ours. But high school students are old enough to know which foods they are allergic to and to respect peers’ by not sharing food. They are also old enough to clean up after themselves.

Considering the number of students inattentive and groaning by the time lunch rolls around from hunger due to not being allowed to eat during the day, as well as the number of students who break school policy out of a physical need to eat, it seems a change is needed. Also, having snacks throughout the day benefits everyone not just teenagers (yes, teachers are people too!).

Should snacking be allowed during school hours, not just lunch?


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