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ERIC Number: EJ1061795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
Perspectives and Future Directions Concerning Fresh, Whole Foods in Montana School Nutrition Programs
Stephens, Lacy; Byker Shanks, Carmen J.; Roth, Aubree; Bark, Katie
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v39 n1 Spr 2015
Purpose/Objectives: To meet new USDA school meal standards, school nutrition programs may need to transition from a "heat and serve" meal preparation approach to increased scratch cooking and use of fresh, whole foods. This study aims to assess the attitudes, motivations, and barriers for Montana school nutrition professionals and key stakeholders regarding the use of whole, fresh food in school nutrition programs. Methods: The researchers conducted a survey of Montana school nutrition program staff (n = 103) and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (n = 12) including current and former school nutrition program staff (n = 9), AmeriCorps FoodCorps service members (n = 2), and a state level Farm to Cafeteria director (n = 1). Survey responses were analyzed for statistically significant differences in responses between school nutrition programs based on size. Interviews were transcribed and coded to identify prevalent themes. Results: Study participants identified numerous benefits to utilizing fresh, whole foods including increased ability to meet USDA standards. A number of barriers and challenges were also identified including lack of staff training, time limitations, food cost, and inadequate equipment. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Training and professional development specific to the needs of the school nutrition program may address some barriers to utilizing fresh, whole foods and increasing adherence to National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program standards. However, changes in institution, community, and federal policies are necessary to facilitate broad adoption of scratch cooking and use of fresh, whole foods in school nutrition programs
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Montana