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Check out our new BrightBites badge – Fresh It Up! This badge will help you improve the cafeteria experience by creating a pleasant eating environment.

Fresh It Up

CAFETERIA ENVIRONMENT

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Getting Started

The school cafeteria should be a place where students want to go because it is a pleasant and safe environment where kids can eat, socialize and relax before and between classes. Improving the feel of the cafeteria so that it is inviting and comfortable encourages students to stay at school during their lunch break and access healthier foods from the cafeteria. Earn this badge by improving the cafeteria experience using the Tools and Helpful Links provided!

Steps To Earn This Badge

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Step 1 - Ask the students

Ask students what they think about the school cafeteria. Do they feel comfortable hanging out with their friends while eating familiar foods and trying new ones? Is it a pleasant, upbeat and fun environment in which to spend their lunch break?

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Step 2 - Start a Conversation

Talk with the school’s Administration to see if it is possible to jazz things up a bit. For example, can the tables and seating arrangements be changed? Can there be music, movies and/or games? Are there cleaning procedures in place for microwave and toaster ovens?

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Step 3 - Do a Nutrition Checkup

Use the Cafeteria Revival Checklist (see Tools) to see what makes an eating space healthy and safe. Your cafeteria revival must meet these requirements to earn this badge.

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Step 4 - Make it Fun

Try at least one of the ideas below or come up with your own ideas to get students excited about eating in the redesigned cafeteria!

Badge Inspiration

  • Consider giving a name to your cafeteria that reflects your school’s healthy eating culture like the ‘Rockin Raisins’ or ‘Screaming Avocados’
  • Just like the TV show, Restaurant Makeover, give your cafeteria a healthy new look.  Work with the Art Department and design murals and posters that promote healthy eating to display in the cafeteria. Brighten up the eating area with freshly painted walls – get arts classes involved
  • Consider putting up window clings on the cafeteria windows
  • Install plants or a mini-garden to liven up the area (see Garden Tower, vertical garden for ideas)
  • Change the lighting to brighten up the space
  • Speak to your Administration about adding round tables and chairs
  • Take before and after pictures, and promote the redesigned cafeteria through your school’s PA system, newsletter and website
  • Think about adding a charging station in the cafeteria as a service for the students