Smarter Lunchrooms


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The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is part of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (B.E.N. Center). Smarter Lunchrooms uses behavioral economics, the science of how environmental cues influence decision-making, to promote healthy choices in school lunchrooms. Strategies focus on making small environmental changes – such as ambiance, prompting, and the packaging, order, and placement of food items on the cafeteria line – to influence students' daily food choices.

Smarter Lunchrooms strategies are evidence-based, simple, no cost or low-cost changes to the school lunchroom environment that:

  • promote healthy eating behaviors and nudge children toward nutritious foods; and
  • improve school meal participation and profits while decreasing waste.

Smarter Lunchrooms helps schools evaluate the lunchroom, determine what they are doing well, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Smarter Lunchrooms Resources