Lunch is arguably one of the last things that schools would consider as imperative to student success. However, it is one of the few opportunities for students to unwind, refocus, and socialize. For a brief period of time, students can be themselves. With that, administrators must consider these easy ways schools can improve lunch programs. By introducing foods suitable for dietary restrictions to upgrading cafeteria equipment and introducing games or movies in the background, schools can improve their lunch programs to help bolster students’ academic performance.
Ask Students and Parents What They Want To See
An easy way to improve the lunchtime experience is to directly ask parents and students what they want to see. This might mean different foods, different food types, or aesthetic changes. Ultimately, student and parent input are crucial for developing a better lunch program. For instance, some students may require different foods to suit dietary needs. Introduce dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, Halal, and Kosher food options. This may affect the lunchroom budget but will open opportunities for positive student and parent feedback for the school.
Upgrade Tables and Chairs
Secondly, upgrade the cafeteria equipment. Whether it’s replacing cafeteria parts or purchasing new tables and chairs, it’s important to replace cafeteria equipment to improve the aesthetic detail of the room. Nor does this equipment need to be limited to tables and chairs. Consider moving carts, trash and recycling receptacles, and menu signs as improvements to the cafeteria. This will provide a new, improved look to the room and improve students’ experiences.
Introduce Games or Videos
Finally, introduce activities for students to do while they eat. It’s your discretion to allow phones or screen time, but offering games or showing movies or shows in the background will help improve the experience. Showing a movie in the background will at least peak some students’ interests, decreasing unruly behavior to a significant degree. Tailor these games or movies per age group, too.