Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of California

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A smarter lunchroom is one that influences students toward choosing healthier, more nutritious foods. Smarter lunchrooms give students an opportunity to select and consume a balanced diet while providing them with a spectrum of choices. The SLM applies research-based principles that use low or no-cost solutions with a focus on the cafeteria environment and the promotion of healthful eating behaviors.

The mission of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of California is to provide training and technical advising for school food service in California on the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement theory and practices created by the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program funded by the USDA.

Smarter Lunch Room Cafateria

Technical Advising Professional TAP Resources

 the nudgeThe Nudge
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Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program

The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs





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Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard

The Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard contains 60 simple, no-cost or low-cost strategies that lunchrooms can use to increase participation, improve consumption of healthy food, and reduce food waste.  The strategies are based on research from the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs and partners and other behavioral science research.

Creating Smarter Lunchrooms

Online Course

The course provides an introduction to behavioral economics and the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement. It includes interactive modules utilizing videos, activities, downloadable tools, and graded assessments. It also offers 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the School Nutrition Association.This new training resource can be used in place of the in-person SLM Introductory Training. If you have staff who have not yet completed the SLM Introductory Training,

Learning Objectives for the Online Course:

  • Articulate why and how the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement uses behavioral economics to influence food decisions
  • Articulate how the six principles of behavioral economics can be used to “nudge” students to select, eat, and enjoy healthy food choices in schools
  • Practice using the “4-Step Path” to implement Smarter Lunchrooms strategies in K-12 schools
  • Use the appropriate behavioral economics and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) terminology to communicate effectively with stakeholder groups
  • Locate helpful resources to use in lunchroom initiatives and to share with school community partners
  • Access helpful professional development resources for other school nutrition professionals and lunchroom intervention project leaders

Step-by-step instructions for accessing and completing the course 

Please note that the online course includes information on entering scorecard data into the online tracker. The SLM of CA is currently not using this tool