Balanced School Day

What is a Balanced School Day?

The Balanced School Day is an alternative elementary school schedule that improves learning, promotes healthy eating and encourages daily physical activity.  The schedule provides three 100-minute blocks of instructional time and two nutritional breaks.  Each nutritional break lasts approximately 45 minutes, including 20 minutes for a healthy, nutritious lunch and 25 minutes for indoor and/or outdoor physical activity.  All Rainbow Elementary Schools offer the Balanced School Day.

The following schedule provides an example of a typical Monday to Friday Balanced School Day in Rainbow Schools.

8:55 am – 9: 45 am
9:45 am – 10:35 am
10:35 am – 11:20 am – BREAK
11:20 am – 12:10 pm
12:10 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm – BREAK
1:45 pm – 2:35 pm
2:35 pm – 3: 25 pm

What are the benefits of the Balanced School Day?

There are many advantages to the Balanced School Day schedule, including:

  • More uninterrupted instructional time
  • Enhanced learning environment
  • Improved student concentration and energy levels
  • Greater task completion for both students and educators
  • Positive influence on student achievement and health
  • More time for students to relax and enjoy their lunch
  • Improved physical fitness for both students and educators
  • More time for daily physical activity and play
  • Greater use of school gymnasiums and outdoor playground facilities

Tips for Parents – How to plan and prepare for nutritional breaks

Packing a well-balanced meal for the Balanced School Day can be fun and easy.

Follow these simple suggestions to plan a healthy, nutritious lunch for your child:

  • There is no need to pack two lunches, simply divide the contents of a lunch to ensure a fulfilling portion for each nutritional break.
  • Sandwiches can be cut in half and wrapped separately.
  • Fruits, veggies, crackers and cheese cubes can be placed in separate bags and numbered for each nutritional break.
  • Consider packing two nutritious drinks in your child’s lunch for each break.
  • Try to pack foods without nuts or nut products in support of our peanut-safe schools.
  • Involve your child in planning and preparing for his or her nutritional breaks.
  • If your child is responsible for packing his or her lunch, please see that he or she has included a balanced selection of healthy foods.
  • For each break, try to pack a variety of healthy, nutritious foods from three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
  • You may also wish to balance lunch box snacks with homemade meals by inviting your child to join you at home during one of his or her breaks.

For more tips on how to plan and prepare for the Balanced School Day schedule, please consult your child’s teacher or contact your area Rainbow School.