ERIC Number: EJ1102960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
School Nutrition Directors' Perspectives on Preparing for and Implementing USDA's New School Meal Regulations
Yon, Bethany A.; Amin, Sarah A.; Taylor, Jennifer C.; Johnson, Rachel K.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v40 n1 Spr 2016
Purpose/Objectives: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new school meals regulations went into effect in July 2012. The purpose of this research was to explore school nutrition director's (SNDs) perspectives and attitudes about the new regulations and to identify strategies used to prepare for and subsequently implement the regulations. Methods: For this qualitative research study, semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2012 and 2013 with 10 SNDs from six states in the northeast and south, before and after the implementation of USDA's new school meal regulations. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded, and analyzed to identify major themes. Results: Three major themes that emerged were readiness, challenges, and school nutrition's role in children's health. Most of the SNDs felt prepared for USDA's new school meal regulations. Concerns remained about inadequate time to fully prepare for the implementation schedule, increased food costs, and declines in student participation. Most believed that students would adjust to the new regulations over time, but there were lingering concerns about the influence of the food environment outside of school. Application to Child Nutrition Professionals: Study findings provide further insight into the challenges that need to be overcome, most notably cost management and procurement of foods compliant with the new regulations. Strategies employed to ensure the success of new school meal regulations included staff training, menu flexibility, and the adoption of fruit and vegetable salad bars to encourage student acceptance and consumption.
Descriptors: Lunch Programs, Food Standards, Nutrition, Administrator Attitudes, Federal Regulation, Change Strategies, Qualitative Research, Semi Structured Interviews, Program Implementation, Readiness, School Role, Child Health, Barriers, Food Service
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://schoolnutrition.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A