- Author: Mishelle Petit
- Editor: Emily Harris
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is a national movement that focuses on improving a school's lunchroom environment to promote healthy eating behaviors amongst the students. Even small, low-cost/ no-cost solutions can have a big impact!
Have a blank wall in your cafeteria? Let UC CalFresh fill it with an educational Nutrition Corner! Take a look at the difference it's made at Birney Elementary.
This wall now features a Nutrition Corner highlighting the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and the health benefits of each color!
Another empty space became an opportunity to emphasize MyPlate and healthy snack choices!
Even the milk carts are encouraging students to drink milk and eat healthy foods!
The blank wall above the water fountain is a great opportunity to encourage students to choose water instead of sugary beverages.
While finishing up in the cafeteria, UC CalFresh nutrition staff Evelyn Morales and Mishelle Petit were able to hear the reactions of students as they saw their updated cafeteria for the first time. Many students were quickly able to point out the new MyPlate images in their cafeteria. Some comments included:
"Hey look, it's MyPlate!"
"Wow, it's like Christmas!"
"MyPlate shows you healthy foods."
While returning to Birney Elementary to teach the lesson, "Choosing Healthy Snacks and Beverages," I asked students if they ever thought about how much sugar is in some of their favorite drinks. Students from almost every class eagerly raised their hands to share that they learned a soda has 8 teaspoons of sugar from the poster in the cafeteria. This goes to show that small changes can make a big difference!
If you have questions on the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, please click here.