Know Your Stuff

Spend some time reading about cafeteria best practices. Invite one or more colleagues to join you so that you can generate shared interest and a commitment to running this program. Key players include occupational therapists, health educators, speech therapists, school counselors, teachers, para-educators and school nurses.

Suggested reading:

  • Comfortable Cafeteria website material. Read the information in the About the Program tab to learn the basics about the Comfortable Cafeteria program. Pay special attention to the Vision Statement & Guiding Principles as these provide an important foundation for the entire program.
  • Comfortable Cafeteria Information Brief provides a 2-page overview of the program. Share this two-page document with colleagues who might be interested in helping you implement the program. For example, in one of our demonstration sites, the occupational therapist and speech therapist worked together to provide the program.
  • Comfortable Cafeteria Annotated Bibliography. Based on a comprehensive literature review of cafeteria best practices, this annotated bibliography provides a summary of current monographs, descriptive articles and research studies.
  • AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) The Cafeteria: Creating a Positive Mealtime Experience. This information brief provides a review of professional recommendations for the cafeteria an suggested strategies for promoting participation and enjoyment for all students (Tier 1); for those at-risk of eating or social challenges in the cafeteria (Tier 2, targeted); and for students with disabilities and/or mental health challenges who may need individualized supports (Tier 3). See AOTA's School Mental Health Toolkit at http://www.aota.org/practice/children-youth/mental%20health/school-mental-health.aspx