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No Time To Train

No Time to Train is a year of engaging scripted, customizable lessons for school food service staff, aligned with USDA Learning Objectives. These engaging, customizable workshops meet training requirement for school nutrition professionals. They include trainer resources (such as scripted lesson plans and planning advice) and teaching aids (slide presentation, worksheets, and role play scripts).

Various national initiatives recognize Smarter Lunchrooms as an effective way to achieve environmental change in school cafeterias. The No Time to Train program is a yearlong series of professional development workshops for school food service staff.  Each month  features two engaging, hands-on lessons (a main lesson plus a “Booster Shot” application experience) based on Smarter Lunchrooms strategies and the principles of behavioral economics. The workshops are customizable in length (15-60 minutes) and can be mixed-and-matched according to trainers’ goals and the Learning Objectives addressed by each workshop.

Each lesson plan includes a script, follow-up recommendations, and learning tools such as worksheets, role play scripts, and slide presentations. The Supplement includes additional information for trainers: tips for effective instruction, advice on matching USDA Learning Objectives codes to each workshop, and a qualitative assessment tool for workshop attendees.

This training program satisfies requirements for the USDA’s Professional Development Standards for School Nutrition Professionals.   

No Time to Train Lessons

August: Introduction to Behavioral Economics

Objective: Explain how behavioral economics influences food choices and how the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement can help students select, eat, and enjoy healthier foods in the school lunchroom.

Participants learn the core concepts of Behavioral Economics and the 6 Principles of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement. They will be able to apply these principles, particularly Visibility and Convenience, in their own homes (if desired) as well as in their lunchrooms. In the Booster Shot lesson, participants view and discuss a video of a real-life Smarter Lunchrooms Makeover.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

SEPTEMBER: Make Fruits and Veggies First, Fast, and Fabulous

Objective: Use visibility, convenience, and suggestive selling to promote fruits and vegetables. Use placement and signage to increase students’ awareness of and interest in daily fruit and vegetable offerings.

Participants use the Smarter Lunchrooms principles visibility, convenience and suggestive selling to promote fruits and vegetables. Participants rearrange and decorate the serving line fruit and vegetable display areas. In the booster shot less, participants create an eye-catching, engaging menu board to advertise daily fruit and vegetable offerings.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

OCTOBER: Positive Communication Cues

Objective: Build and improve relationships between lunchroom staff and students.

Participants use the Smarter Lunchrooms principle Suggestive Selling to promote positive interactions between lunchroom staff members and students. In the Booster Shot lesson, participants host a meet-and-greet decorating party with select students.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 2220: Offer vs Serve, 4130: Customer Service, 4140: Communication Skills, 4150: School and Community Communication*

NOVEMBER: Give Foods Catchy Names

Objective: Promote target foods (entrées, fruits, and vegetables) by giving them catchy, evocative, age-appropriate names. List these names first on menus and announcements. Create neat, colorful food labels and display them on the serving line near target foods.

Participants learn and apply the Smarter Lunchrooms principle Enhancing Taste Expectations. They learn what characteristics make foods sound(and therefore look and taste) appealing to different audiences. They then create attractive names for popular items from their own monthly menus, focusing on these target foods: new and healthiest entrées, fruits, and vegetables. In the Booster Shot lesson, participants create attractive food labels for target foods and place them on the service line.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

DECEMBER: Trick the Treats

Objectives: Use behavioral economics strategies to promote target foods and de-emphasize competitive foods. Encourage school-based stakeholders to celebrate achievements and holidays without incorporating desserts and other less-healthy treats.

Participants decorate and arrange lunchroom spaces to promote healthy foods over unhealthy seasonal treats. Participants are invited to act as ambassadors to other school groups, sharing ways to celebrate holidays and achievements without using foods (especially unhealthy foods). During the Booster Shot lesson, participants reflect upon which incentives best motivate them to go the extra mile.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques, 3440: Retention, Promotion, and Recognition*

JANUARY: Make Milk #1

Objectives: Use signage and placement to promote milk (particularly white milk). Learn about and discuss a real-life Smarter Lunchrooms Makeover.

Participants promote milk (particularly white milk) as their lunchroom’s preferred beverage using signage and special cues. During the Booster Shot lesson, participants read, reflect upon, and discuss a true-life Smarter Lunchrooms testimonial led by a lunchroom staff member.

Note: These interventions can be adjusted to promote all milk varieties.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4130: Customer Service, 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

FEBRUARY: Complete the Reimbursable Meal

Objective: Use suggestive selling prompts to promote reimbursable meals.

Participants use suggestive selling prompts to encourage students to purchase complete reimbursable meals. They diagnose sample selections to determine which food items are needed to create a reimbursable meal. During the Booster Shot, lunchroom staff and students collaborate to give the lunchroom a festive new look and to build rapport.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 2220: Offer vs Serve, 2310: Reimbursable Meals, 2320: POS Financial responsibility, 4130: Customer Service, 4150: School and Community Communication*

MARCH: Student Rapport Role Play

Objective: Use conflict resolution strategies to improve rapport between staff members and students.

Participants analyze sample interactions, then use positive communication and conflict resolution strategies to improve staff -student relations. Creative role play (with optional student participation during the Booster Shot lesson) leads to open discussion and problem-solving.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4130: Customer Service, 4140: Communication Skills*

APRIL: Data Collection Techniques

Objective: Understand the uses of various lunchroom data collection techniques. Practice tray waste data collection.

Participants learn why research methodologies and data management are keystones of a Smarter Lunchroom Makeover and how various lunchroom data collection techniques show progress toward lunchroom goals. They then practice analyzing tray waste examples from photographs (main lesson) and in person (Booster Shot).

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 3250: Water, Energy, and Waste Management, 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

MAY: See with Fresh Eyes (Diagnose the Lunchroom)

Use Smarter Lunchrooms tools to diagnose lunchroom spaces and prescribe Smarter Lunchrooms interventions.

Participants use Smarter Lunchroom tools to diagnose lunchroom spaces and suggest possible intervention strategies. In the first workshop, they diagnose sample lunchrooms; in the Booster Shot, they examine and reflect upon their own lunchroom.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

JUNE: Reflection and Mission Statement

Objective: Reflect upon Smarter Lunchrooms experiences from throughout the year. Create a collaborative mission statement and individual goals to guide the next year’s Smarter Lunchrooms interventions.

Participants reflect upon their experiences in the lunchroom this year, including the training, interventions, and results. They collaboratively compose a mission statement for the following year’s Smarter Lunchrooms interventions. During the Booster Shot, each participant creates individual goals supporting the group mission statement.

This lesson can be used towards the USDA Professional Standards learning code: 4110: Strategic and Marketing Plans, 4160: Smarter Lunchrooms Techniques*

*For more information about using these trainings for USDA Professional Standards Requirements, Download: No Time to Train Professional Standards Supplement

Click here to download the full No Time to Train Trainer’s Script