In association with a Team Nutrition grant, JSI has partnered with the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, to provide Smarter Lunchrooms trainings, technical assistance, and support to Massachusetts schools. From this partnership, school nutrition directors and managers will learn how to identify and create strategies to increase the amount of nutrient-dense foods that students consume in their lunchrooms.
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement incorporates simple, low-cost and no-cost changes to the school meal environment, encouraging students to take and eat more nutritious foods. Six principles of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement include:
- Manage portion sizes. For example, use smaller containers and plates.
- Increase convenience of healthy foods.
- Improve visibility of nutritious foods.
- Enhance taste expectations, such as by giving food items creative names.
- Utilize suggestive selling, including giving cues for positive communication.
- Set smart pricing strategies. Healthy food “bundles” can encourage nutritious choices.
To evaluate your lunchroom, the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard can be used to see where you are doing well and to identify areas for improvement. From this collaboration, school nutrition directors and managers will create 10 areas to improve their school lunchrooms, with at least one goal in each of the six focus areas: focusing on fruit, promoting vegetables and salad, moving more white milk, entree of the day, increased sales/reimbursable meals, and creating school synergies. Sales and participation of the school meal program will be assessed before and after the goals are implemented.
Smarter Lunchrooms trainings, technical assistance, and support will be provided from May 2015 – June 2016, reaching 50 schools in Massachusetts.