Action Tips: 11 Ways to Makeover Your Cafeteria


Does the lunchroom's mystery meat and rock-hard seating make you want to eat as humanly possible just to get out of there? These steps show you how.

  1. Have cafeteria workers ask students if they want a salad with their meal.
  2. Move the veggie options closer to the checkout.
  3. Put fruits in eye-catching colored bowls (not stainless steel like the rest of the food).
  4. Have at least 1/3 of the milk be 2% or skim milk. Place this healthier type at the front of the fridges.
  5. Ask the cafeteria to provide smaller plates to encourage smaller portions.
  6. Decorate the walls of the lunchroom with the healthy foods you want to encourage young people to eat.
  7. Create a “healthy express” checkout for those who aren’t buying sugary and salty desserts.
  8. Create posters that list ingredients nutrition information of the food items.
  9. Ask the cafeteria to always offer a variety of fruits and vegetables (one option = fail).
  10. Rename the food. Like, "String beans" sounds bland. “Zesty Sautéed String Beans” sounds way better.
  11. Put the healthiest foods by the register (late minute impulse buy!).


The New York Times

Smarter Lunchrooms