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ERIC Number: EJ1253800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
The Impact of a Smarter Lunchroom Program on Selection of Fruits and Vegetables by Children in School Cafeterias
Drzal, Nicholas; Alaimo, Katherine; Henne, Rebecca
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v44 n1 Spr 2020
Purpose/Objectives: This paper describes the results from a Smarter Lunchroom program designed to evaluate if bundling fruit or vegetable strategies listed on the Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard increased selection of fruits and vegetables by students in school cafeterias from 2015 to 2017. Methods: Twenty-one Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Community Nutrition Instructors (CNIs) were trained to coach Michigan school child nutrition professionals to undertake Smarter Lunchroom programming from 2015 to 2017. Sixty-seven schools completed Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecards (Scorecard) before and after making changes to their cafeterias using either 12 fruit or 15 vegetable strategies listed on the Scorecard. Thirty schools submitted five days of pre- and post- food production records. Mean values of Scorecard totals and five-day average cups of fruits and vegetables selected per student as measured by schools' production records were calculated for pre- and post-cafeteria changes. Changes were assessed using t-tests. A regression analysis was conducted to determine if schools demonstrating greater improvement in their overall Scorecard also demonstrated increased selection of cups of fruits and vegetables per student. Results: Schools completing pre- and post-cafeteria changes Scorecards saw significant increases in Scorecard scores, regardless of school grade, percentage of students participating in the school meal program, and whether or not the school formed a student team. There were no statistically significant improvements in the cups of fruits or vegetables selected by students after the cafeteria changes, and selection of fruits and vegetables was not associated with Scorecard improvements. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Child nutrition professionals should be cautious in using Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard strategies to improve and/or monitor student eating behaviors. The link between increases in the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard scores and changes in student fruit and vegetable selection should be investigated further.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A