The Food Service Department held their Back to School Training at the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers building on Monday. The group stayed busy during their day long training through engaging activities, brain breaks, and discussions. The topic of discussion? The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement in Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) has been awarded a grant to “Create Healthy School Environments” through funding from the Highmark Foundation. Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Henry and Chatham University Graduate Student Dani Lyons led the training to introduce the concept of Smarter Lunchrooms and how the program will be implemented in PPS cafeterias this year.
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is a nation-wide movement endorsed by the USDA that uses principles of behavioral economics and food psychology to encourage the students to choose the healthier items in the lunch room. The research being done at Cornell University suggests that there is plenty of evidence to show that simple low cost/no cost changes in the cafeteria can truly impact a child’s decision as they move through the lunch line. – Dani Lyons
PPS Cafeterias across the district are gearing up for some fun, creative, and healthy changes. Stay tuned for more information on the school lunchroom makeovers by checking in with our Tumblr page to keep you up to date: http://smarterlunchroomspps.tumblr.com/.