Management, Nutrition, Food Safety and Techniques to Improve School Nutrition Operations Top the Issues in the Latest Issue of JCN&M


The following is the preview article in a series of news stories examining each of the JCN&M papers in the Spring 2017 Issue.

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management (JCN&M) is an online journal publishing peer-reviewed articles related to school nutrition programs. These papers represent the best and most authoritative information from school directors and academic professionals; reflecting solid scholarship, which further advance the state of knowledge in the child nutrition field.

The Research in Action category of the Spring 2017 issue focuses on management, nutrition, and food safety in school nutrition programs. How school nutrition staff handle free and reduced price meal application and verification procedures is the topic of a paper summarizing research by Junehee Kwon PhD RD, and associates. They conclude that accuracy might be improved and staff time reduced if school nutrition programs were able to accept both online and paper applications.

How to encourage children to eat more vegetables as part of their school lunch meals is a continuing challenge in many schools. Anastasia Snelling PhD, RD, et al. tested an innovative strategy of pairing a fresh cold fruit with a cold vegetable as one lunch selection in a suburban school district and found that vegetable consumption by students was significantly increased. Another paper by Alicia S. Landry, PhD, RD and Brittany K. Logue, MS, RD, summarizes and discusses the benefits and barriers of school gardens.

Wherever food is served, food safety is always a concern and especially so in Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) where sites, equipment, and resources vary. After surveying SFSP sites in seven states, Emily Vaterlaus Patten, PhD, RDN, CD and associates conclude that improvement is needed in personal hygiene, time/temperature control and cleaning/sanitizing practices.

A Current Issues paper by Xotchil Medina, MS and associates describes the effect of offering produce for sale to students, teachers and community members at bi-monthly farm stands. Included in the paper is a survey form that can be used to evaluate student fruit/vegetable preferences and self-efficacy.

Three Practical Solutions papers in this issue describe techniques that can be used to improve school nutrition operations. Kelly Bristow, RD, LD et al. found that offering students free samples of locally grown sweet potatoes significantly increased selection by students when they were later made available on the school lunch menu. Karen Weber Cullen, DrPH, RD and Keith Rushing, PhD, RD collaborated to compile participant evaluations of a Team Up for School Nutrition Success pilot workshop. Their survey results may assist others involved in organizing similar workshops at state, district and unit levels. Carolyn C. Johnson, PhD and associates describe a problem-solving, decision-making model that includes five steps ranging from problem definition to ongoing assessment. Although they used the model to evaluate salad bars in schools, this model could be used to evaluate many other school-based activities.

Also, the FNS Research Corner features a summary of USDA-funded research projects related to child nutrition programs. This report, which includes both recently completed projects and those still in progress, should be of interest to all child nutrition directors.

About The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management:
The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management (JCN&M) is the exclusive source for research findings in this profession, and it features a variety of studies in the following four categories: Research in Action, Current Issues, Practical Solutions and FNS Research Corner. Published twice a year, this peer-reviewed research journal is available free of charge, online only. Read the current issue today.

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