UC CalFresh has been actively involved in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, and recently had an opportunity to showcase the efforts underway in Fresno County!
What is a Smarter Lunchroom?
Simply put: it's a lunchroom that is designed to support healthy meal time choices.
Why? According to the Cornell University Center for Behavioral Economics (BEN), it comes down to the way we make choices. BEN center research shows that our environment shapes the way we decide what we want to eat. Thus, the way healthy foods are presented to students impacts the choices they make during meal time. With just a few small changes, such as switching the bowls used to serve fruits and vegetables, districts around the country have seen a spike in consumption of healthy foods during meal times. Read more about the national Smarter Lunchrooms Movement here.
Many partners, one goal
Many organizations in California have partnered with Cornell University's Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs to advance the movement in the golden state. Partners include the California Department of Education, the California Dairy Council, Kaiser Permanente, the California Department of Public Health, the California Endowment, California Food Policy Advocates and the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program.
Partners recently gathered for a Smarter Lunchrooms reception in Sacramento. During the reception, Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, reaffirmed his support for building healthier schools. Read more about the reception here.
At the reception, Fresno County UC CalFresh also presented highlights of local Smarter Lunchrooms efforts. Our posters are shared below.
Special thanks to all of the Community Education Specialists, Fresno County administrators, teachers and food service staff invested in building healthier school environments!
UC CalFresh is thrilled to bring the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement to Fresno County schools! Are you interested in joining the movement? Please contact Shelby MacNab at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-241-7531 to get involved.
- Author: Brittanny N. Zweigle
We love working with Mrs. Rowley's class and can't wait to see what they taste next!
Keep up the great work!
- Author: Nath Say
This October, Rowell Elementary's cook, Amal Avedian, wore her OrganWise Guys apron in the cafeteria to reinforce nutrition education with students!
Students familiar with the OrganWise Guys were excited to spot the lovable organs and MyPlate pictures as they picked up their lunch. The apron was a great way to reinforce the OrganWise Guys' key messages of eating high fiber foods, drinking low-fat milk and lots of water, and getting plenty of exercise. Thank you for your collaboration, Amal! Together we are building smarter lunchrooms.
- Author: Maira Enriquez
Mrs. Leyva, a kindergarten teacher at Lowell Elementary, demonstrates a creative activity she made with her class using the five essential food groups of MyPlate.
Mrs. Levya's activity will help students associate each food group to a different finger on their hand. Great job Mrs. Leyva! Your hard work and dedication to helping kids learn the importance of nutrition will help expand their knowledge and commitment to a healthy lifestyle!
In an interview with Ryan Jacobsen, Executive Director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, Dr. Shannon Mueller, University of California Cooperative Extension County Director, shared the role of Extension in the community.
Highlighting the local impact of UC Farm Advisors, Mueller recognizes programming and services they provide as a "bridge between the information that is developed on campus" and the needs of local growers.
Mueller also highlights the importance of Nutrition Education programming in Fresno County, particularly for school children and their families.
"We have really one of the premier nutrition programs in Cooperative Extension, here in Fresno County," she explains, “they conduct trainings in the school. They go out and visit classrooms and talk about good nutrition, physical activity, and health issues.”
Thanks for sharing our work Valley's Gold!
View the show in its entirety here:
For more information on the agricultural education programs featured, please visit the sites below: