Friday, October 22, 2010

Redesigning cafeterias

I was so excited to see this article in the New York Times today: how to redesign school lunchrooms to promote healthier eating. It's not about taking away the junk foods. Rather, it's about how simply redesigning cafeterias leads to healthier food choices. 

For example:
  • Make healthy foods (like broccoli) the first thing you see
  • Give food attractive names: Instead of “corn" call it “creamy corn”!
  • Provide choices: Offer students a choice of carrots OR celery (not only carrots)
  • Keep ice cream and desserts in closed containers so they're not easily visible
  • Encourage tray use: This increases veggie and decreases ice cream consumption
  • Decrease the size of bowls
  • Move chocolate milk behind regular milk 
  • Put apples and oranges in fruit bowl rather than a stainless steel pan (this makes it more appealing)
  • Verbally offer students a salad (and more will say yes)
  • Move the salad bar in front of the checkout (instead of off against a wall)
  • Have student pay cash for desserts (instead of using lunch tickets to buy them)
  • Make a “healthy express” check-out line for students not buying desserts or chips 
This is pretty much what my school lunches used to look like... yikes.

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