Behavioral Economics Strategies to Nudge Healthy Food Selection in School Meals

This course explores how the principles of behavioral economics can increase selection and consumption of healthy foods in school meals though increasing taste expectations, managing portion size, and setting smart pricing strategies for a la carte items. It also covers how these strategies can be adapted in compliance with the USDA’s Offer vs Serve provision. 

This course has three sections and will take about one hour to complete. For each section you will be asked to read a short introduction and watch the corresponding video (approximately 20 minutes). Once you’ve have completed the video, you must correctly answer a comprehension question to move on to the next section.  



Upon adequate completion of the three sections, please fill out the brief questionnaire to receive your certificate of completion. If you are a member of the School Nutrition Association you may earn one Continuing Education Credit by completing the course. In the final questionnaire, please indicate your SNA membership number and the certificate will be emailed to you. You may also use this course towards USDA’s School Meal Professional Standards requirements (Key Area: Operations 2000, Key Topic: Offer vs Serve 2220 OR Key Area: Comm./Marketing 4000, Key Topic: Smarter Lunchroom Techniques 4160).

To Enroll: 

  1. Create a log in:
  2. Once you are logged in and have confirmed your account, go here: to access the course. 
  3. Click “enroll” and you’re in! 


David Just, PhD, Smarter Lunchrooms National Office, Cornell University 

Heidi Kessler, MS, Chef Ann Foundation (former Executive Director of the Smarter Lunchrooms National Office) 

Kerri Link, MS, RD, Colorado Department of Education