What is a Smarter Lunchroom?
A smarter lunchroom is one that nudges kids towards nutritious foods. Over 30 million children are fed by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). We believe that this program is an opportunity for kids to select and consume a balance diet. The Smarter Lunchroom applies research-based principles that lead children to make healthy choices when provided with the full spectrum of choice.
In an effort to reach out and provide resources to schools across the nation, the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement has assembled a set of Best Practices which are effective at creating an environment that nudges kids toward healthful choices. These Best Practices are solution based principles which focus on specific aspects of the school meal.
Does This Really Work?
All of the Best Practices and lunchroom solutions that the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement endorses have been studied and proven effective in a wide variety of schools across the nation. The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (B.E.N. Center) applies experimental research from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab to school lunchrooms. Here are some quick take-aways from the B.E.N. Center research:
- Moving and highlighting fruit increased sales of fruit by up to 102%
- Naming vegetables and displaying the new names with the foods increased selection of vegetables from between 40% - 70%
- Placing white milk first in the lunchroom coolers has resulted in an increase of up to 46% in white milk sales
- The first of highlighted entrée on the lunch line has an 11% advantage over the second option
- The number of students consuming “healthy items” increased by 35% after the introduction of a “healthy choices only” convenience line.
There is more! Research is an ongoing process and there is a great deal of related research available from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab!
Click Here to read through the research articles!