About the Program

This 6-week program was developed by occupational therapists (OT) to be embedded during lunchtime with the purpose of creating a positive cafeteria environment so that all students can enjoy their meal and socialize with friends. The ultimate goal of the 6-week program is to provide the cafeteria staff and students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources needed to sustain a comfortable cafeteria environment.

Based on pilot studies of implementation in several school districts, significant positive changes in student perceptions of their lunchtime experience after just 6 weeks have been noted, including improvements in:

  • Experiencing lunchtime as enjoyable, especially in children that initially did not enjoy lunchtime
  • Thinking that other children are friendly
  • Perceiving cafeteria supervisors as more friendly and helpful
  • Having enjoyable mealtime conversations

Cafeteria supervisors report feeling more prepared to do their jobs based on the knowledge, skills and support gained from the Comfortable Cafeteria program.

Sustain it! Maintain a positive cafeteria culture!
Following the 6 week program, it is our hope that school staff and students will commit to sustaining a positive cafeteria environment by using the resources provided on this website and those located in the Cafeteria tab of the Every Moment Counts Pinterest site.