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Abstract

A key goal of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 is to ensure that children have access to healthy foods in schools. While the new policy mandates that healthy items must be included on the lunch line—and even that children must take certain foods—there is concern both over whether children will choose to eat the healthier fare, and what the ultimate cost may be to schools that comply. We propose a series of behavioral nudges–the total lunchroom makeover–that may help lead children to make healthier choices at little cost the schools in accordance with the goals of the new legislation.. We report the results from a field experiment in which a series of nudges lead to significant increases in the consumption of fruits and vegetables—a substantive step in the right direction.

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