Recess / Recess Before Lunch

Boy on a swing

The daily exercise that results from recess helps to improve health and physical fitness, and there are many benefits to scheduling recess before lunch. Use these resources to learn more!



Iowa Recess Before Lunch

Iowa Team Nutrition Program; Iowa State University Extension; Midwest Dairy Council.

Pilot programs were conducted in 3 Iowa elementary schools. Results per school building and a guide to assist schools in making the determination of moving recess before lunch are available.


School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (PDF | 973 KB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Guideline 2 (p. 18) includes recess before lunch as a recommendation (under ‘Provide adequate and safe spaces and facilities for healthy eating’).


NASPE Resource Brief: Recess

National Association for Sport and Physical Education.


Barriers to Recess Placement Prior to Lunch in Elementary Schools

National Food Service Management Institute.


Recess Before Lunch: Playtime Before Lunchtime! (PDF | 434 KB)

Western Dairy Council; Action for Healthy Kids Washington.


The Benefits of Recess before Lunch: Creating a Healthier Classroom (PDF | 123 KB)

South Dakota Department of Education, Child and Adult Nutrition Services.


Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Recess Placement Prior to Lunch in Elementary Schools: What Are the Barriers?

School Nutrition Association, The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management.


Recess before Lunch Programs in Elementary Schools: Perceptions and Practices of School Professionals

School Nutrition Association, The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management.


Benefits of Recess before Lunch Fact Sheet (PDF | 957 KB)

Hamilton County Coordinated School Health Committee, Cincinnati, OH.