School lunch is a complicated topic. But perhaps solutions for improvement can be simple. The Smarter Lunchroom Movement is promoting easy, research-based, low-cost or no-cost strategies for increasing healthy choices in the cafeteria. Listen to these simply impressive figures:
- Placing white milk first in the lunchroom coolers can result in an increase of white milk sales of 46%.
- Naming a vegetable and displaying the creative name in the cafeteria line can increase the selection of that vegetable by up to 70%?
- Highlighting fruit can increase sales of fruit by up to 102%.
Doesn’t sound so complicated, does it? Small, smart changes can really create big results!
Fit4Kids and the Greater Richmond Coalition for Healthy Children are excited to partner with the Richmond City Health District and VCU’s Healthy Lifestyles Center to bring the Smarter Lunchroom Movement to Richmond Public Schools (RPS). Over the next few weeks, we are visiting all 42 RPS schools to assess the lunchroom environments and to identify areas for simple interventions.
And over the next two months, all School Nutrition Service managers will participate in two Smarter Lunchroom trainings to learn clever ways to make their cafeterias a healthier place. A local school cafeteria veteran, Trista Grisgby, will be providing technical assistance to managers and their staff as they implement changes, and we’re eager to see how they enable students to choose healthier options. Stay tuned for more updates as Smarter Lunchrooms take off in the Richmond region!