Taste texting is a simple text message and web-based pre-order system which leverages prompting, choice, placement, pre-commitment and convenience to encourage high school students to make better choices at lunch.  The program began as a study performed by the UNC Chapel Hill Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), and is now being piloted at Chapel Hill High School.

Topic area(s): Child nutrition, Health Disparities, Obesity Prevention and Control 


The primary objective of this project is to improve fruit, vegetable, and fiber intake among high school students by increasing the proportion of healthy reimbursable meals selected and consumed at lunch.  Secondary objectives include: increasing participation in school lunch, increasing the efficiency and profitability of the school lunch program, decreasing cafeteria congestion, thus increasing the amount of time that students have to eat their lunch, increasing sales of healthy a la carte, and keeping more students on campus for lunch.


Taste Texting makes fresh, healthy, reimbursable school meals available for pre-order via text message or the web.  In the evening, the Taste Texting system will send students a text or email message letting them know it’s time to order lunch for the following day; participants will have until 8:45 the next morning to place their order.  Students can pick up their food from an express kiosk located apart from the main cafeteria service area, allowing them to skip lengthy lunch lines, avoid the temptation of energy-dense foods, and enjoy more of their lunch hour with friends.  In addition to choosing what to eat, the Taste Texting system will also ask students to choose a time to pick up their lunch, and will send you a confirmation message including that time. At the pick up window, students can also take a fruit and milk at no extra charge, or any other a la carte item. Then, students will pay for their lunch at the dedicated Taste Texting register.  Taste Texting lunches are priced the same as regular school lunch offerings, and are included in the free and reduced lunch program.



Study Coordinator: Billie Karel, UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention