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TNC 039: Smarter Lunchrooms

Smarter lunchrooms help kids choose healthier food and eat healthier, too. Researcher Brian Wansink shares tips and strategies for helping kids and families eat healthier.

My two oldest went back to college last week, and my high schoolers head back to school this week. Back to school always feels like the New Year to me!

In this episode, I am continuing with the theme of school lunch and tapping Brian Wansink for his perspective, particularly in the area of Smarter Lunchrooms.

Brian is the Director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, where he is a leading expert in changing eating behavior – both on individual level and on a mass scale — using principles of behavioral science.

He’s written two popular books, Mindless Eating and Slim by Design, as well as over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Brian graciously wrote the foreword to my co-authored book with Maryann Jacobsen, Fearless Feeding, in 2012.

In this episode, not only does Brian discuss The Smarter Lunchroom Movement – or how the design, flow and layout of school lunchrooms can influence healthier food choices– he also dishes on feeding his own kids.

A Note on School Lunch Today, episode #38:

In the last episode —I talked with Donna Martin about school nutrition. She’s done a whole lotta good stuff in her school district in Georgia. A reader asked a question about the discrepancy she sees in her own school district — you can listen in to my perspective on her question here. 

What You Will Learn about Smarter Lunchrooms

  • The easy way to teach kids about nutrition
  •  Why cool names increase the amount kids will take
  • Small (and FREE) changes for schools that guide kids to eat healthier
  • The three things that drive kids to choose healthy food
  • How schools can make their lunchroom smarter
  • 60 things to do to help kids eat healthier
  • How the smarter lunchroom scorecard can help improve lunchrooms
  • The relationship between take, eat and waste
  • How to apply the smarter lunchroom concept to the home

What We Discuss in the Episode

  • Brian’s memories of his childhood eating
  • The psychology of eating
  • Why schools should be concerned with the psyche of the student
  • How to connect with your child in the lunchbox (small acts of kindness in the lunchbox
  • Brian’s newest interest in research and the next book he is working on
  • How your mood influences how and what you eat
  • How gratitude can cause you to eat fewer calories
  • How to make meals an event and more meaningful
  • Why what you serve for dinner can change the perception of you as a parent
  • Why kids don’t eat everything they serve themselves
  • Why staggering the meal components can result in better veggie intake

Links I Mention in the Show

Thrive Mastermind – a pediatric nutritionist group mastermind led by me and launching in 2018.

TEDx Danbury, where I will be on stage presenting: The Nutrition Prescription for Healthier Kids

Brian in the news

Smarter Lunchroom Movement

Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard

Slim by Design book and website

Help The Nourished Child GROW

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