Smarter Lunchrooms Movement - Evidence-based, simple, low and no-cost changes to lunchrooms which can improve school meal participation and profits while decreasing waste. These resources can help schools evaluate their lunchroom, determine the things they are doing well, and identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
- Smarter Lunchroom Self-Assessment Scorecard - Complete this scorecard by checking the boxes which are true for your cafeteria or school. The boxes which are not checked are areas of opportunity for you to consider implementing in the future. We recommend completing this checklist annually to measure your improvements.
- Creating Smarter Lunchroom FREE On-Line Course - Great introduction to behavioral economic theory and application. Provides two continuing education credits from the School Nutrition Association.
Smarter Lunchroom Projects with the University of Iowa: Students and child nutrition staff were engaged through a collaborative process to assess their lunchrooms to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
- Project with 6 Iowa Middle Schools (2016-17): Understanding the level of influence child nutrition staff have on student food choices in the meal line by engaging students in lunchroom assessments, surveys, and communication cues.
- Staff Training Webinars
- Student Lunchroom Assessment Tool
- Menu Planning Activity with Students
- Surveys: Parent Survey, Student Survey, and Food Service Staff Survey
- Today I Made a Difference: Signage to post on the cafeteria line for staff to view and "cue" them to engage with students. Staff can interact with students to help them make the healthy choice, by "suggesting they try the vegetable" or "asking how their morning has been".
- Project with 5 High Schools (2015-16): There is a difference between what students perceive is available on the meal line and what adults see. Engaging students in the Smarter Lunchroom process is key to making needed changes to satisfy student taste preferences.
What's New in School Nutrition Webinar (March 2017) - Overview of the New Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard
Managers Update Presentation - led by Patti Delger and Carrie Scheidel
Healthy School Meals Presentation - led by Patti Delger and Carrie Scheidel
Before and After Photos - Captures changes of Iowa schools that received a Smarter Lunchroom sub-grant.
Cues for Positive Communication with Students and Staff - Positive examples of foodservice staff comments made to students and staff during the meal service period. Cues can create a welcoming atmosphere and promote a reimbursable meal or targeted food item purchase.
Best Practice Evaluation & Implementation Guide - Several basic principles that support a variety of changes that can be made in school cafeterias that help “nudge” students towards healthier selections.
Smarter Lunchroom Videos – Cool Moves You Can Use are 20 videos available free to use from Michigan Team Nutrition. Use the video clips for staff training and promotion of techniques to increase sales and increase loyal students to school meals. Topics include themes boost mealtime engagement, creating student loyalty, lunch line no wait zones, fruit front and center drives sales, student marketing power, involve students in cafeteria operations, etc.