Get Involved in Healthy Lunchroom Initiatives by Running a Student Nutrition Action Committee

Healthy Food Choices in Schools September 01, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Ask students what their favorite part of the day is; chances are, they will say recess or lunch! Time to socialize with friends is time well spent, but often the action of actually eating during the lunch period becomes secondary. As a teacher, your influence is key to guiding students to make good choices in and out of the classroom. Creating a Student Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC) is one way that you can positively utilize your influence to encourage kids to make healthy eating choices in the school lunchroom. Developing a SNAC in your school is a great way to generate ideas, enthusiasm, and manpower for making changes that improve the lunchroom and students’ nutrition. A SNAC can provide an inclusive environment for students of all grade levels from elementary, to middle, to high school. While older students can provide more manpower to put initiatives in effect, helping younger students to develop positive attitudes about healthy eating will have a great payoff over time! The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement has developed a detailed guide to setting up a SNAC that can be found here.



A SNAC can help to encourage healthy eating at your school by:

  • Providing a friendly and respectful environment for students to voice their opinions about school food and the lunchroom environment
  • Supporting the food service director and lunchroom staff in implementing healthy changes
  • Helping generate ideas about how positive change can occur
  • Renaming foods to make them sound more appealing to students
  • Designing and creating signs and art for the lunch line and lunchroom
  • Providing manpower at special events, such as food tastings or guest lunch servers
  • Spreading awareness to other students about the benefits of nutrition
  • Advocating the school food program to get more students to participate
  • Acting as spokespersons to media and to meetings of food service staff, administration, staff, PTA/PTO, student council, and the Board of Education


Katherine Baildon, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs


Organize Your SNAC.” Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.