Contribution and Reprint Guidelines


The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management is an online journal supported by the School Nutrition Association. The Journal publishes research articles focusing on school/child nutrition programs that cover a wide variety of topics such as nutrition standards, nutrition education, administration, operations, food production and service, food safety and marketing. With the exception of contributions developed as a result of projects funded by the U.S. government, manuscripts must be original, unpublished and not submitted for publication elsewhere. School Nutrition Association membership is not a prerequisite for submitting manuscripts. International submissions are encouraged. Abstracts of articles published in this Journal are indexed in the AGRICOLA database of the National Agricultural Library maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the ERIC database maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management follows code of conduct and best practices for editors as outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (

Primary Audience

The primary audience of The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management includes school/child nutrition professionals and those involved in public policy at local, agency, state, regional and national/intergovernmental levels. In addition, the primary audience includes students, faculty, researchers, school community members, school administrators and organization/industry representatives with an interest in child nutrition programs.

Manuscript Categories

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management accepts manuscripts in four categories: Commentary, Current Issues, Research in Action and Practical Solutions. Each manuscript is evaluated through a blind peer review process that considers many factors, including: content, relevance, originality, article readability, writing style, appropriate research methods and statistical analysis, results and discussion, conclusions, references and applications for child nutrition professionals. Word limits do not include abstracts, charts, tables, illustrations and references. Manuscripts will be rejected if they are deemed inappropriate for The Journal of Child Nutrition &Management or if they do not conform to the following guidelines.

  1. Commentary: Should be a brief opinion piece on a timely subject that stimulates thought, challenges the status quo and provides suggestions for action or areas for research. Papers should include an abstract (see below). Charts/tables/figures/illustrations should not be submitted in this category. Article Length: up to 1,500 words.
  2. Current Issues: May be a review of literature or a discussion of a subject of current interest or controversy. The article may include references and charts/tables, but should not discuss methodology or data collection in detail. Papers should include an abstract (see below). No more than three charts/tables/figures/illustrations are recommended in this category. Article Length: up to 2,500 words.
  3. Research in Action: Papers should report original research and include all of the following sections clearly labeled and in the order listed below. No more than four charts/tables/figures/illustrations are recommended in this category. Papers should include a structured abstract (see below). Article Length: up to 4,000 words.
    • Introduction-State the rationale and purpose for the study and provide a brief discussion of relevant literature. Percentage of article: Approximately 15%.
    • Methodology-Briefly describe the research methods used in chronological order. Indicate that the research project was approved by an Institutional Review Board. Use subheadings such as Instrument(s), Sample, Data Collection and Data Analyses to organize this section for clarity to the reader. Percentage of article: Approximately 15%.
    • Results and Discussion-Present findings of the research, discuss their significance and if possible, relate the new information to previous research conducted in the topic area. Percentage of article: Approximately 30% (not including charts, tables and illustrations).
    • Conclusions and Application-Suggest how readers can apply the research results to their school-based child nutrition operations and discuss, when appropriate, possible implications for future research. Percentage of article: Approximately 30%. 
  4. Practical Solutions: Papers should describe a problem or challenge and discuss solutions that led to enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency. The paper may also offer suggestions for possible future research. Papers should include a structured abstract (see below). No more than three charts/ tables/figures/illustrations are recommended in this category. Article Length: up to 2,500 words. 


An abstract of approximately 150 words will provide a summary of the purpose and recommendations for the subject addressed in "Commentary" and "Current Issues" manuscripts.

A structured abstract of approximately 300 words is required for the "Research in Action" and "Practical Solutions" manuscript categories. This abstract should have the following headings:

  • Purpose/Objectives: Describe the purpose and objectives of the research.
  • Methods: Describe the research design, sample, data collection and data analysis.
  • Results: Present the major results of the study.
  • Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Provide applications of the results for the field.

Style of Manuscripts

In addition to meeting the criteria of the above manuscript categories, all manuscripts should be written in in a direct manner that makes both the research and results interesting and understandable. Authors should avoid heavily academic, technical language and should explain jargon.

All All Journal manuscripts should follow American Psychological Association (APA) Style. Refer to the current American Psychological Association (APA)Publication Manual for additional information (current manual is the 6th edition). Before submitting a manuscript for publishing consideration, authors in the academic community may wish to have a local school/child nutrition representative review the paper for clarity and practical application. Researcher and practitioner collaboration, including community-based participatory research, is encouraged.

Manuscript Preparation

Authors should prepare two separate files,one for the title page and one for the manuscript. Both files should be submitted as Word document (.doc) attachments to the Editor. Remove citation/reference list software field codes and Word page/section breaks before submitting.

Title Page: The title page should include the title of the article; category for which the manuscript is being submitted; word count for the total manuscript, as well as each individual section; the name, professional suffixes, job title, place of employment and mail and email addresses of all authors and the phone number of the corresponding author who should receive the print ready manuscript for review. Identify authors on the title page only, so the manuscript can be reviewed confidentially.

Manuscript: The manuscript must be double-spaced and use Times New Roman 12-point typeface with 1-inch margins. As an aid to reviewers, please number each line of manuscript copy down the left margin beginning with line 1 and also insert page numbers. Use the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling, consistent with APA Style. This Journal does not allow use of bulleted lists. An accepted alternative is to list items in sequence using alphabet letters or numbers.

The manuscript includes the following:

  1. Abstract: On a separate page, include the title of the article and the abstract (see Abstract above). Just below the abstract list 4 to 6 keywords that can best be used to reference the article.
  2. Text: Follow the requirements of the appropriate article category described above and the rules of APA Style. The APA Publication Manual includes helpful guidelines for grammar, writing style and clarity. For example, select tense carefully, and stay within the chosen tense. In general, use the past tense (Sanchez confirmed) or present perfect (researchers have confirmed) for the introduction, methodology and results/discussion. Present tense may be used to discuss implications of the results, conclusions and applications. Papers should be written in third person. Avoid using 1st and 2nd personal pronouns such as “I”, “you” and “we.”
  3. Acknowledgements: These may include acknowledgement of technical assistance, sources of financial support or identification of a thesis, dissertation, presentation or preliminary report used in the study.
  4. References: List only references cited in the text. Type them double-spaced in alphabetical order. Follow the most current APA Style for text citations (author-date) and references, and include a digital object identifier (DOI) or a valid URL (if no DOI is available) for all references. Refer to the APA Publication Manual (6th edition) for additional information on text citation and reference format
    Some examples follow: 
      1. Journal article with DOI 
        Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Curtin, L. R., Lamb, M. M., & Flegal, K. M. (2010). 
        Prevalence of high body mass index in U.S. children and adolescents, 2007-2008. 
        Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 303, 242-249. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.2012 
        • Parenthetical format, first citation in text
          (Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, Lamb, & Flegal, 2010)
      2. Entire book, print version 
        Institute of Medicine. (2010). School meals: Building blocks for healthy children.
        Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
        • Parenthetical format, first citation in text 
          (Institute of Medicine, 2010) 
      3. Government report (retrieved online) 
        Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2006). The double burden of malnutrition: Case study from six developing countries (FAO Food and Nutrition Paper No. 84). Retrieved from
        • Parenthetical format, first citation in text 
          (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006) 
      4. Government report (hard copy) 
        U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). The Surgeon General's vision for a healthy and fit nation. Rockville, MD: Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. 
        • Parenthetical format, first citation in text 
          (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) 
      5. Statute 
        Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, 42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. (2010). 
        • Parenthetical format, first citation in text 
          (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, 2010)
    • Tables: Type each table double-spaced on a separate page at the end of the manuscript (in same file); number sequentially and identify each with a short title, using APA Style. For sample sizes of less than 100, the actual number of subjects or samples should be stated—not percentages. Tables should be formatted in Microsoft Word. Limit tables to those essential for clarification. Indicate within the manuscript where each table should go for the final publication. An example of table format follows:
      Selected Demographic Information
    • Illustrations, Figures and Charts: These should also be on a separate page at the end of the manuscript (in same file); number sequentially and identify each with a short title, using APA style. Indicate within the manuscript where each illustration/figure/chart should go for the final publication.

    Avarage Fruit

    Review Process

    Authors will receive written acknowledgement of the initial receipt of their manuscript. The School Nutrition Association holds the copyright on all material published in the Journal. Therefore, upon submission, the corresponding author must sign and date a transfer of copyright and authorship agreement that transfers the article’s copyright to the School Nutrition Association. All authors must also sign a conflict of interest statement. Manuscripts submitted by authors who were employees of the U.S. federal government at the time their work was investigated and written are not subject to the Copyright Act; therefore, these authors will not be required to submit the statement of copyright transfer but must inform the Editor of their status as federal employees.

    All submitted manuscripts are sent to peer reviewers who are experts in their fields. After peer review (usually 10 to 12 weeks after the date of the initial acknowledgement letter), the editor will notify the corresponding author whether the manuscript is accepted as is, requires major revision, requires minor revision or is rejected.

    If revisions are required, the reviewers’ evaluations will be returned to the author. When the authors submit a revised paper, they should also submit a file that addresses all the revisions and corrections suggested by reviewers. 

    Final Checklist

    Before submitting a manuscript for review, please consult the following checklist of requirements to ensure the paper meets The Journal’s standards for publication. The Editor can and will reject manuscripts that do not meet the specified criteria.

    • Have you prepared the title page file and manuscript file according to the guidelines?
    • Have you attached a complete Title Page?
    • Have you included an Abstract page, with the title, abstract and keywords?
    • Have you included Acknowledgements (if applicable)?
    • Have you included and properly formatted references when applicable?
    • Have you removed the field codes and page/section breaks?
    • Have you checked the manuscript word count?
    • Have you met the guidelines regarding tables/charts/figures/illustrations?
    • Have you indicated a manuscript category and followed the category guidelines?
    • Have you communicated effectively, using the recommended writing style?
    • Is your study presented in an orderly and concise manner that will engage readers?
    • Have you numbered the lines of the manuscript?
    • Is the font in 12-point Times New Roman?
    • Is the manuscript double-spaced?
    • Have you included the DOI or URL for all references, if applicable?

    For more information, contact:
    The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management
    Catherine Strohbehn, PhD, RDN, CP-FS, Editor
    Extension Specialist/Professor
    Iowa State University

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