The cafeteria manager from Manatee K-8 started giving vegetables exciting names and putting fruit in colorful, decorative bowls. The items presented in this new way were eye-catching for students. She also noted that, “We’ve started putting more white milk toward the front of the milk case; the kids are taking more thanks to the training.”
On a district level the county made an effort to increase student interest in new menu items. The demand for newly re-named: “Crunchy Hawaiian” and the “Baja Fish” wraps increased when their descriptive name was paired with new packaging. The new packaging is an example of a way to enhance taste expectations. The young customers are finding the color contrast of the wrap on a black bottom dish with a clear lid appealing.
Cafeteria professionals in St. Lucie County have already used a wide variety of Smarter Lunchrooms Movement techniques and serve as a great example that quick, simple changes make a difference in the lunchroom.
Beth Owens, MAg, University of Florida/IFAS Extension