The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement National Office is proud to release a great new online course worth 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)! This self-paced course, called Creating Smarter Lunchrooms, provides a strong understanding of behavioral economics theory and how it can be used to "nudge" students to select, eat, and enjoy healthy food options in the K-12 school lunchroom environment. Many effective strategies for leveraging behavioral economics in lunchrooms will be explained and demonstrated through engaging, interactive activities. Participants will practice identifying areas of opportunity and tools for engaging stakeholders and working in lunchrooms. Best of all, it is offered free of charge!
Successful completion of this course will earn two (2) CEUs from the School Nutrition Association (SNA). The Learning Outcomes fall under USDA Professional Standards code 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques.
This course is a total overhaul of the previous Smarter Lunchrooms online course created in 2012. It was rebuilt to reflect subsequent changes in the school food arena and has been moved to a new platform, eCornell, which is easy to use and well-supported technically. It contains new material, including Introduction to School Meals*, updated strategies and research, using the 4-Step Path to enact changes in schools, and new Smarter Lunchrooms signage and tools such as the 60-point Scorecard and online Scorecard Tracker. It contains a great variety of interesting, informative learning activities and assessments. The entire course takes two hours and is self-paced. This is a great introduction to behavioral economics applications in lunchrooms and is suitable for use by Smarter Lunchrooms state collaborative work groups, extension offices, school food service companies, departments of education or health, and other organizations.
The course can be leveraged in a variety of ways. To start with, participants can earn two professional development credits while learning valuable Smarter Lunchrooms strategies to help promote healthy food choices to kids and build collaborative relationships with school-based stakeholders. Trainers can also use the course as a foundation for more in-depth Smarter Lunchrooms training by asking participants to complete the course before a designated workshop or conference. The participants having already received a solid foundation in the theory and techniques of using behavioral science in school lunchrooms, the rest of the in-class training time may then be used for hands-on application, school site visits, and other higher-order learning activities. Doing so could significantly reduce training costs by reducing the amount of travel and in-person training hours needed. The course also works well as a foundation for teaching Smarter Mealtimes strategies to early childhood education (ECE) caregivers. Lastly, it counts as “refresher” training for Smarter Lunchrooms Technical Assistance providers (TAPs) who need continuing education in Smarter Lunchrooms to renew their 3-year TAP certification.
The course is now live! Go to www.ecornell.com/slmtraining to register for the class and get started!
Final note: Looking for more free professional development opportunities for yourself or your colleagues? Free courses worth 1 CEU are also available through the Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice.
*NSLP guidelines, context, and tips for collaborating with school food service leaders