CNIC: Quick-and-easy changes to the school lunchroom

Jan. 15—At the School Nutrition Association’s Child Nutrition Industry Conference in Orlando, Fla., Dr. Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab, shared some simple tips to increase student purchases of healthy items.

The first tip is to make items visible and appealing. For example, Wansink said to put fruit in a nice bowl in a well-lit area. He says in schools that have done this, purchases of fruits have increased as much as 100%.

The second tip is, because people decide sequentially what to put on their plates, if you put the healthy items at the front of the line, people will select more of those items.

The third tip is to name the items. For example, instead of bean burrito, use big bad bean burrito. Wansink suggested having students help in the naming process because they know what will resonate with other students.

Wansink also gave tips on how to get high school kids into the lunch line, which is often a struggle for foodservice directors. Wansink said if you advertise your daily specials outside of the cafeteria, on a bulletin or white board, all students will be able to see the offerings, which may persuade them to participate in the school lunch program in the future. He also said that, in some cases, forcing the students to walk through the serving area to get to the seating area in the cafeteria increased participation in the meal program.

Wansink urged directors to make changes immediately. “You don’t have to wait for a congressional session to make changes,” he said.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources