Smarter Lunchrooms Promoted In Shasta County
Healthy eating initiatives are sweeping the nation and the Northstate is no exception.
On Monday experts from Cornell University shared some secrets about how schools can promote healthy eating at Anderson Union High School.
The focus was learning about small changes in schools in their cafeterias with the goal of instilling smarter eating habits in students.
It's called the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and the sticking point is these changes can be made at little or no cost.
Researchers said they are so slight, the hope is students will make better eating decisions subconsciously.
More than 50 food service staff members from more than 10 different school districts in Shasta County participated.
The training was sponsored by Healthy Shasta.
April Jurisich, a healthy students initiative coordinator said, "it's a great opportunity to help our food service ladies who are already putting their energy into making these great foods and market their program to make the students more willing to take the healthy food."
Jurisich said we first eat with our eyes so making healthy food options look more appealing is important.
Adam Brumberg is the deputy director with Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab.
Brumberg said, "The goal for the Smarter Lunchroom Movement is for all our suggestions to be low cost or no cost. So everything should be under $50 at the most."
Brumberg travels across the country conducting research and giving presentations about how the environment affects food consumption.
"There's tons of research that we've done that dressing things up a bit like you would in a nice restaurant makes people want to eat it. It changes how people feel about the food and eventually eat it which is the most important thing," said Brumberg.
Studies show changes such as displaying fruit in a bowl instead of a metal tray have been shown to increase the number of students who choose and eat the fruit by 102%.
A percentage that's got Jurisich pretty excited.
"It's very similar to what big food industries do but we want to help kids see healthy food in a convenient, easy way."
Brumberg said the goal is to have the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement in 30,000 schools nation-wide by the end of the year.