Some NYC schools serving lunch at 9 a.m. - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Some NYC schools serving lunch at 9 a.m.

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

By Audrey Puente

Every day thousands of New York City school children are eating lunch at the same time that many of us are eating breakfast.

According to a recent review of Department of Education data, more than 650 schools throughout the city are serving lunch before 11 a.m. In fact, some of those schools are eating lunch as early as 9 a.m.

These are "locally-made decisions at the school level," according to the new york city schools chancellor's office. These unreasonable lunch periods are often the result of multiple schools sharing one building. There is either a shortage of cafeteria space or the principals of the individual schools choose to have separate lunch periods.

Nevertheless, nutritionist Lisa Cohn says that kids need properly timed meals.

"Children have brains which need to be fed on time," Cohn says. "And that means every 2-1/2 to 3 hours."

According to nutrition experts, after about 3 hours, the fuel from this early lunch begins to wear off. Kids begin to get headaches and can lose their ability to focus.

"It has a detrimental effect on their performance," Cohn says. "The brain needs to have an energy supply. These are young active learning people who are physically active and therefore need steady energy supply and nutritious energy supply."

So what would be the ideal meal schedule for school aged kids?

"So a breakfast might be at 7:15 or 7:30, sometimes it's late like 8:30 or 9," Cohn says. "Kids should have a snack in the late morning. And then a lunch that comes in at the earliest 11 a.m. But we bring that up and the gap from that meal until after school is way too long."

Some of these kids are skipping breakfast at home and just wait to eat during their morning lunch period at school. on the flip side, over 300 schools are serving lunch after 1 p.m. those kids are very hungry by the time they sit down in the cafeteria.

The chancellor finds this data is disturbing, and her office is going to work towards improvements.

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