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Resources from the Community of Practice

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Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice (CoP) is an free online resource area at eXtension.org developed and updated regularly thanks to the contributions of school meal program leaders and professionals from across the country.

This resource area is populated with evidence based articles, tip-sheets, how-to sheets, testimonials and videos created to help empower food service professionals, teachers, school administrators, health professionals, program leaders, and parents to create and maintain healthy eating opportunities and environments for children at school and even at home.

Each month, the Healthy Food Choices in Schools CoP also hosts a 30 minute webinar on a topic related to encouraging healthy food choices among school aged students. The webinars are recorded and archived and available here. Additionally the CoP offers one hour accredited professional development courses are available here.

The Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice was created in 2013 as a key component of the outreach arm of a USDA-AFRI grant. The Smarter Lunchroom Program and the Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program (also known as BEN Center) both play a key role in the leadership of the CoP.

Take a look at some of the recent content featured below. To view the resources avaliable visit: articles.extension.org/healthy_food_choices_in_schools.

If you are interested in joining and contributing to the eXtension Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice, please contact Katie Baildon.

Featured Content from eXtension.org

Building Synergies between Farm to School and Smarter Lunchrooms

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) Extension's Family Nutrition Program has an innovative training program that links Farm to School and Smarter Lunchrooms elements. School districts work hard to procure local foods, and cafeterias want to see students taking and eating those fresh, local items. READ MORE…

Smarter Lunchroom Principles are Worth Every Penny: How Simple Lunchroom Changes Impact the School Meal Program Bottom Line

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement champions several research based behavioral interventions in school cafeterias. The two most widely used interventions are naming the vegetables and moving the fruit. Notably, these interventions are claimed to be cost effective ways for encouraging children to take and consume healthier foods, but is this a valid claim? READ MORE…

Smarter Lunchrooms and Let’s Go! Maine – A Perfect Match

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is championed in the state of Maine by Let’s Go!, a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Let’s Go! engages school nutrition programs as essential partners in helping to raise a healthier generation by providing ongoing support, training, and technical assistance through Let’s Go! School Nutrition Workgroups. READ MORE…


Ask an Expert

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Have questions about how to get started? Wondering who's doing what? Ask school lunch experts from across the country and get evidence-based answers quickly: https://ask.extension.org/groups/1804/ask