2017 was an eventful year for Smarter Lunchrooms as we embraced a fresh philosophy centered on the updated 60-strategy Scorecard and emphasizing user-friendly language and ease of implementation. We streamlined our resource package and rebranded for a modern, inviting look. This website was rebuild from the ground up, is easier to navigate, and offers a host of new and updated tools and resources. Lastly, we introduced Smarter Mealtimes for early childhood education settings, based on the CACFP meal recommendations. This review of our resources can help longtime Smarter Lunchrooms fans and new adopters alike to access and utilize our diverse resources to nudge kids to select, eat, and enjoy healthy foods.
This webinar hosted by Healthy Food Choices in Schools walks you through the new website and all of the tools on it.
The 60-point Scorecard is our most important tool. It is the updated, improved version of the 100-point Scorecard (released yearly since 2013) and a major inspiration for our rebranding. In keeping with our user-centered philosophy, this scorecard streamlines our strategies into 8 sections focused on promoting fruit, vegetables, salad, white milk, reimbursable meals, lunchroom atmosphere, and involvement with students and the school community. All of the strategies are based on research and the established 6 principles of behavioral economics in food settings. The Scorecard is supported with a summary worksheet for synthesizing Scorecard results, an FAQ sheet, and a flyer advertising and explaining the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement. It is also offered in Spanish and 508 compliant versions. The strategies are detailed with explanations, photos, and pro tips online and in the National Handbook, which also details the 4 Step Path to bringing Smarter Lunchrooms changes to schools. Tools for creating catchy food names, incorporating Smarter Lunchrooms into local wellness policies, and tracking progress through measuring tray waste are also in this section of the website. (Some of these topics have supplemental webinars as well.) Best of all, the Online Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard Tracker is the easy way to record, store, print, and track all of your Scorecards and lunchroom photos for all of your schools in one convenient, secure online location! Scorecards can be completed and photos uploaded on any mobile device in real time. This webinar hosted by Healthy Food Choices in Schools shows you how to use it. Register for a free account to get started.
The USDA’s Professional Development Standards for School Nutrition Professionals provided updated guidelines for preparing lunchroom staff and leaders to respond to the expanded role of the school lunchroom within the school community. Smarter Lunchrooms offers many training resources to help all school food service professionals meet their training requirements, for free. The No Time to Train program of 15-minute interactive workshops for lunchroom staff teaches Smarter Lunchrooms strategies in an engaging, hands-on way. Mix-and-match them by theme or go sequentially through the year, personalized to your training needs. For professional audiences, we offer 1-CEU and 2-CEU options. The Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice offers 7 1-credit courses comprised of curated content. The 2-credit self-paced online course “Creating Smarter Lunchrooms” is currently being revised and will be online in January 2018. Other free training videos can be found here and here. Inquiries into in-person trainings and our May 2018 Smarter Lunchrooms Symposium at Cornell University in gorgeous Ithaca, NY can be sent here.
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The Smarter Lunchrooms strategies have been adapted for early childhood education settings! This easy, adaptable program was developed in partnership with the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Learn more about the tools, webinars, free signage, and other resources here. Stay tuned in January for another blog post with all of the details on this exciting new offering!