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ERIC Number: EJ927150
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5676
Best Practices for School Nutrition Professionals Serving the Nutritional Needs of Pre-Kindergarten Children in Public Schools
Lofton, Kristi L.; Nettles, Mary Frances; Carr, Deborah H.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v33 n1 Spr 2009
Purpose: This study identifies best practices for school nutrition professionals serving the nutritional needs of Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) children in public schools. Methods: The two-phased study followed a best practices research model (BPRM) utilizing the seven practice categories identified from previous PreK research. In Phase I, an expert panel of school professionals (n = 7) identified and confirmed goals and best practice statements under the practice categories: Communication and Training, Nutritious Menus and Meal Experiences, Administrative Support, Encouragement, Mealtime Opportunities, Dining Environment, and Healthy Wellness Practices. The panel provided feedback on the content, wording of goals and best practices, and formatting suggestions to develop a best practice guide. The panel members' comments were then used to revise and pilot the guide. In Phase II, members of a review panel, composed of school professionals (n = 14), were provided the draft guide, evaluation form, and demographic survey to complete a directed review. The panel assessed the efficacy of the guide as a self-assessment tool, and confirmed the placement of best practice statements under related goals and practice categories. Descriptive statistics included means, standard deviations, and frequencies of total responses. Researchers reviewed the data and incorporated suggestions from the review panel to revise and format the guide. Results: The review panel's evaluation indicated a high level of agreement that the goals and best practices were clearly stated, were measurable and achievable, and were similar to performance standards necessary for serving PreK children. The final version of the best practice guide consisted of seven practice categories, 17 goals, and 97 best practice statements. Application to Child Nutrition Professionals: The NFSMI best practice guide was formatted into a Web-based, checklist which can be used either as a self-assessment tool to evaluate and monitor the quality of nutrition services in PreK programs or as a guide to plan new PreK programs. (Contains 2 tables.)
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A