What is Recess Before Lunch? 

Recess Before Lunch (RBL) allows students to play (go to recess) first, and then have lunch. Play, then eat. It's an effective School Wellness strategy that helps students eat well and perform well in school.  

Schools use Recess Before Lunch for these reasons:

  • Improved student behavior on the playground, in the lunchroom and in afternoon classrooms

  • Improved lunchroom atmosphere

  • Students eat better and waste less 

Montana Schools have been leaders in using Recess Before Lunch since 2002.  From the experiences gleaned from these schools, we are pleased to share our many resources related to Recess Before Lunch including an updated (2018) Recess Before Lunch Guide!

Recess Before Lunch Guide

Montana RBL girl with tray

Learn all about Recess Before Lunch with Montana's Recess Before Lunch Guide, updated in 2018. 

Read more about recess before lunch »

Benefits of Recess Before Lunch

RBL boy swinging

Recess Before Lunch is good for students and teachers.  

Read more about benefits of recess before lunch »

Sample School Schedules

RBL boy raising hand

Examples of RBL schedules.

Read more about sample school schedules »

RBL "Are you ready" Checklist

RBL girl jump rope

A list of important things to consider when planning for RBL.

Read more about planning for RBL »

Creating a Comfortable Cafeteria

milk apple

Tips for making school meals positive and pleasant.   

Read more about positive school meals »

Montana's RBL Pilot Project

RBL boy with tray

See results from a RBL Pilot Project with 5 Montana Schools 

Read more about Montanas RBL project »

Montana Principal's Survey on RBL

RBL teacher students

Feedback from Montana School Principals about RBL

Read more about the RBL survey »


Watch the Recess Before Lunch- Recipe for Success WEBINAR - presented March 21, 2018 by Dayle Hayes. 

For more information, please contact:

Montana Team Nutrition Program
MT Team Nutrition logo
Montana State University
325 Reid Hall, PO Box 173370
Bozeman, MT 59717-3370
Molly Stenberg, RDN
[email protected] • Phone: 406-994-7217
Haley Scott, MPH
[email protected] • Phone: 406-994-5641

Montana Office of Public Instruction Logo

Montana Team Nutrition Program works in close collaboration with the Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs