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Using the National Smarter Lunchrooms Handbook


The Smarter Lunchrooms Handbook was developed by the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement National Office in 2017 to provide schools with the knowledge, motivation, and support needed to build a lunchroom that makes the healthy choice the easy choice for all students. As you pursue your Smarter Lunchroom goals, be sure to reference this helpful support document to simplify your experience. 

Download the Handbook here

Get the Facts

Find statistics highlighting the effectiveness of Smarter Lunchrooms strategies, along with testimonials from nutrition and food service professionals across the country. 

Make it Effective

The Handbook features the new and improved 60-stragegy scorecard, along with two brand-new resources: a FAQ page to review before completing your first Scorecard and the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard Summary, which provides a quick, simple snapshot of your results. We anticipate these documents, when used together, will prove to be invaluable to your lunchroom. 

Quench Curiosity

 Ever wonder why a particular strategy made the cut, what makes it important, or how it can be best implemented? The Handbook features a brief explanation behind each of the 60 strategies on the Scorecard, along with photos from schools just like yours and specific suggestions for accomplishing each strategy. Following directions has never been so easy! (Hint: Click here if you want to read up on the full research behind the data

4 Steps to Success

Spot. Plan. Do. Prove. It’s that simple! The Handbook provides a walk-through of each component of the Smarter Lunchrooms 4-Step Path, pinpointing helpful resources to utilize at each step. 

1. SPOT: Are you preparing to become a Smarter Lunchroom? Before you make any changes, take a close look at your cafeteria to spot what changes you need to make. 
  • Complete the Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard 
  • Take plenty of photographs (see Handbook for a list of key snapshot locations!)
2. PLAN: Once you’ve determined the changes you want to make, it’s time to determine your course of action.
  • Review your Scorecard and closely examine lunchroom photos 
  • Choose 3-5 strategies to focus on 
  • Create a plan for each strategy (see Handbook for tables to help with this!)
3. DO: You’ve developed your plan- now go make it happen! 
  • Notify all lunchroom staff of the changes, giving them a chance to ask questions and offer suggestions
  • Small changes can be made overnight or over the weekend, while larger changes might require a vacation week or summer break.
  • Communication is key! 
4. PROVE: Now is the time to show off your successes! 
  • Complete a new Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard 
  • Take “after” photos