Eating in class has always been a heated discussion between students and teachers, and the argument continues to this day. Some teachers allow students to snack during class, and others are entirely against it and prohibiting food entirely.
There’s one thing we can all agree on: food is essential to life, no matter what. We have to eat, and if that means that we crack open a granola bar during class, then that’s what needs to happen. I believe that eating in class is a basic need that must be met by all teachers, at any time.
It is undeniable that food is a necessity for every single person in this world. Your body needs nourishment every few hours to keep going strong: breakfast, lunch and dinner simply doesn’t cut it for most people. And just because we’re in school the majority of our waking hours, the physiological need doesn’t make any exceptions.
Our bodies have the amazing ability to tell us when we’re hungry. It’s kind of like an alarm system that tells us when, what, and how much to eat. When this alarm system goes off in the middle of class, the ability to honor these cues is critical. If your teacher says you can’t eat in class, that means that you are ignoring what your body is telling you. That doesn’t feel right.
If you’re hungry during class, we all know the inability to focus on the lesson. After all, your body is freaking out, and knows that its top priority is to get access to food. Sure, you’re probably not actually starving, but making sure that you are well-nourished is one of human’s main survival instincts, learning Algebra comes later.
We also know that our body tells us what to eat, based on which nutrients it needs. Protein helps with muscles, starches are quick energy, fats are longer-lasting, our bodies are smart. It’s actually incredible how well they function. So having bans on certain kinds of food, based on whether something is “healthy” or not, is extremely problematic. All food serves a purpose, may that be physical or emotional.
An issue that the other side may pose is that eating during class is distracting, like you can’t focus on the lesson if you’re also eating a candy bar. But isn’t fantasizing about said candy bar, just thinking about how hungry you are, so much more distracting? When you’re hungry, all you can think about is food. Not English class, or biology. No, you’re thinking about what and when you’re going to eat next.
The solution to hunger, and the solution to a reason why someone might be distracted during class, is to eat. Yes, during class, if you need.
The moral of the story is that food is important, whether a teacher is in the middle of a lecture or not. It’s that simple. Honoring our hunger cues is critical in maintaining a successful school career and living a healthy, happy life. Teachers need to allow eating in class, for the well-being of every student.