As well as offering attractive and nutritious food, the dining experience itself can influence eating preferences and habits.
A welcoming and calm eating environment can ensure that eating school lunch is a pleasant experience for children, promoting the social and cultural aspects around food and allowing positive eating behaviours to be modelled by teachers and other staff.
Our system map shows that a positive school dining experience can increase school lunch uptake, influence child food preferences and contribute to the overall school food culture.
See our recommendations and tips below on how to make changes to your school’s dining experience to support a whole school approach to food.
What you can do in your school
The cost and impact of each action was informed by an evidence based approach to estimates and the feedback of school stakeholders
Low: our stakeholders estimate this will have low financial cost
Medium: our stakeholders estimate this will incur some financial cost or time commitment
High: our stakeholders estimate this would require some financial investment
Low: our research tells us this recommendation would achieve the greatest impact if combined with other activities
Medium: our research tells us this recommendation is likely to support achievement of a whole school approach to food
High: our research tells us this recommendation will make a significant contribution to a whole school approach to food.
Extend lunch break to reduce queues and give more time to eat in non-rushed environment