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Smarter Mealtimes in Child Care

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Smarter Mealtimes is an adaptation of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement for child care environments. The Smarter Lunchrooms principles and concepts that result in increased selection and consumption of healthy food are also simple and effective in child care settings.

The Smarter Lunchrooms National Office partnered with hundreds of child care sites through The National CACFP Sponsors Association to test the development of an evidence-based Smarter Mealtimes Scorecard, which was released in June 2017. The Smarter Mealtimes Scorecard is a list of 20 simple, inexpensive strategies to promote healthy eating in half- or full-day programs that serve young children. These strategies are designed for childcare centers, Head Start programs, and family homecare settings.

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Learn more about the Smarter Mealtimes Movement:

Smarter Mealtimes Scorecard 

The Smarter Mealtimes Scorecard is a list of simple, inexpensive strategies to promote healthy eating in half- or full-day programs that serve young children. These strategies work in childcare centers, Head Start programs, and family homecare settings. The Scorecard, Summary, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and Smarter Mealtimes Challenge monthly tracker all work together to help you evaluate your dining space, formulate a plan for incorporating Smarter Mealtimes strategies into your daily routine, and measure your progress!

Smarter Mealtimes Handbook

This handbook provides the knowledge, motivation, and tools needed to build a mealtime environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice for young children. It includes an explanation of why each strategy works and how to implement it in an early childhood education (ECE) setting. Additional coordinating online resources can be found here. 

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Free Print-Your-Own Smarter Mealtimes Signage

Use these fun, beautiful designs to promote Smarter Mealtimes strategies in your early childhood education space. 26 colorful, appetizing photographs pair up with ABCs to build literacy skills and create interest in fruits and veggies. 3 instructional posters for adults help caregivers incorporate simple, free Smarter Mealtimes strategies into their daily routine. **These resources are formatted for printing yourself, if you would like files for professional printing, please contact us** 


*Wansink, B., Just, D., Gabrielyan, G., Brumberg, A. (2016), Smarter Kids Cafe: Testing Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard Techniques for Child Care. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 48(7), S16. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2016.04.046