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Creating Smarter Lunchrooms Online Course (2 CEUs!)



This self-paced online course is worth 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)! It provides a strong understanding of behavioral economics theory and how BE strategies can be used to "nudge" students to select, eat, and enjoy healthy food options in K-12 school lunchrooms. Strategies are explained and demonstrated through engaging, interactive activities. 

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. This reboot reflects subsequent changes in the school food arena and is hosted by a new platform, eCornell, which is easy to use and well-supported technically. It contains new material, including an introduction to the school food landscape, updated strategies and research, how to use 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. This is a great introduction to behavioral economics applications in lunchrooms and is suitable for 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 number of ways:

  • Participants: Earn two professional development credits while learning valuable strategies for promoting healthy food choices to kids and building collaborative relationships with stakeholders.
  • Trainers: Use this course as a foundation for in-depth Smarter Lunchrooms training by asking participants to complete the course before a designated workshop or conference, saving in-class training time for hands-on application, school site visits, and other higher-order learning activities.
  • Early Childhood Educators: The course can serve as a foundation for teaching Smarter Mealtimes strategies to ECE caregivers.
  • Renew TAP Certification: This course is part of the certification renewal process for Smarter Lunchrooms Technical Assistance providers (TAPs) who need continuing education in Smarter Lunchrooms to renew their 3-year TAP certification.

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.