Welcome to Ohio – Smarter Lunchrooms, a resource for individuals involved in school nutrition! Through this blog, we provide guidance, tips, and other lessons learned throughout our experiences implementing Smarter Lunchroom strategies. Our goal is to assist you in making simple, inexpensive, and sustainable improvements within your cafeteria.

What is Smarter Lunchrooms?

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement was developed by Drs. Brian Wansink and David Just at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. This program implements simple and inexpensive strategies in school cafeterias to improve the way children eat. Strategies are based upon research that food choice can be influenced by the way that the choice is offered.

In 2013/2014, the Ohio – Smarter Lunchrooms Movement began with 51 schools from across Ohio. Our common strategies were placing fruits in multiple locations, renaming vegetables, and updating salad bars.

In 2014/2015, 110 more schools from across Ohio were added to the movement. We will use this blog to highlight the strategies and progress of these schools throughout the upcoming school year.

Our Focus

Food choice selection is influenced by the way that the food is offered. Throughout our experiences, we found ourselves discussing the importance of three lunchroom practices:

  • Prime: Get students excited about healthy food items prior to selection.
  • Place: Place healthy items in locations of increased visibility; first in line, at eye-level, and in the traffic pattern are ideal locations.
  • Appeal: Make foods attractive – appeal to all the senses and also offer items in attractive packaging.

To learn more about the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and to receive 2 continuing education credits from the School Nutrition Association, check out our link below:

Creating Smarter Lunchrooms – Training Module

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