I am fully aware that today’s children do not get enough time for lunch in the schools here. My oldest son had major gastrointestinal issues due to the way he was eating at school. Currently the children here start school at 8:15 am. The bus that picks them up drives to at least 3 schools and in some cases 4 to drop off children. Breakfast is served from 7:30-8:05 but most of the bussed students are lucky to arrive by 7:55. Then lunch is roughly 30 minutes in Elementary school and 40 in High School. Despite being grouped into different lunch bells each one has roughly 150 students attempting to get through a line, pay for their meals, find a seat and eat their lunch. Most teachers require they be emptying their plates and getting in line to leave 5 minutes before their actual time is up. So by the time you figure the time it takes to move a line with that many people you are looking at possibly 10 minutes , if they are lucky to chew and swallow their food.
Needless to say this allotted time is not enough for any person to be able to digest properly. Add in the fast food type meals served in most school cafeterias you are setting yourself up for a world of trouble. Most of the foods are doughy and fatty, both types take longer to digest and process in the stomach. Pizza dough alone takes 3 days to work out of the intestinal system as feces. Now add a few more rushed school meals, after school snack and meals at home on top of that undigested pile of goop and you have the makings of a nasty stomach.
My oldest could not tolerate this eating pattern. Even at home he rushed to eat as fast as he could and many times would take huge bites and chew it just enough to swallow it. This destructive pattern of eating led to him having major bowel problems. I noticed he began having accidents and when confronted he would get beligerent. Eventually he did not even smell himself, nor did he feel the urge to go. Continual accidents resulted in an overnight stay at the children’s hospital for our area to have a quick cleanse. His intestinal system was backed up clear into his rib area. He spent most of the night on the potty,which is exactly what they wanted. But within a day we were back to accidents he swore didn’t happen. Too many times I was having out and out screaming matches with him and truly believed he was doing it for some reason like attention or he was having issues in school. Finally we sought help from the family doctor who set us up with a pediatric gastrointestinal doctor.
Needless to say my teenage son was very uncomfortable with a female doctor checking him out in that end but we needed answers. The first thing she discussed was his eating habits at home and at school. When she heard about the time frame for lunch she nodded her head knowingly. According to her the need for child intestinal checks was increasing every year and it was in direct proportion to the lack of time in eating periods. The less time, the more patients she received.
His long time poor eating habits encouraged by the local school system resulted in my child having a large impaction. One that had even escaped his 24 hour hospital cleanse. It was literally lodged near his rectum and when he would have a bowel movement it would slide out of the way, because it was too large to pass. The continual pressure in that area had deadened the rectal nerves. This led to a series of outcomes such as the failure of the nerves to send a signal to the brain to go, meaning he had accidents. Eventually his nasal passages no longer responded to the smell either. It took us nearly 2 years to get him back to normal. With medication and retraining the nerve endings. At the age of 14 my son literally had to undergo potty training all over again.
All because of the shortened lunch times in today’s schools.