Please note that this study was published before the implementation of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which went into effect during the 2012-13 school year, and its provision for Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards for Competitive Food in Schools, implemented during the 2014-15 school year. As such, certain research may not be relevant today.
Human Resources Research
Training Evaluation: A Review of Literature
This literature review identifies various approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of training in the work setting. The Kirkpatrick Model is suggested as a valuable framework for training evaluation. The full report is available online
Tools for Hiring Successful School Foodservice Assistants
This report identifies key characteristics of school foodservice assistants who are successful long-term employees. The report describes information identified during a focus group session that was validated by a national survey of school foodservice directors. The skills identified as most important for school foodservice assistants related to six categories: communication, interpersonal, work ethic, attitude, educational skills, and physical health. The full report is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/tools_for_hiring.pdf.
Competencies, Knowledge, and Skills of Effective School Nutrition Managers (Revised 2003)
This three-phase research study updates the original competencies, knowledge, and skills statements that were developed in 1995. During the first phase, a national survey of 38 selected school nutrition professionals determined the relevance of existing knowledge and skill statements to current job responsibilities of school nutrition managers and evaluated existing experience level (entry- or beyond entry-level) categories for new statements. For the second phase, survey respondents participated in one of four regional work group sessions and reached a consensus concerning recommendations for updating the knowledge and skill statements. The third phase consisted of validating the revised and new competency, knowledge, and skill statements. The full report is available online
at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/competencies_managers_rev03.pdf. Researchers reported the findings in a six-page research monograph, NFSMI Insight #25, which is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/New/insight25.pdf.
Child Care Research
Steps to Nutrition Success Checklist: A Program Self-Assessment Checklist for Family Day Care Home and Child Care Center Providers Participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
This multiphase study was an outcome of a research project that identified the competencies, knowledge, and skills of sponsor monitors. It was designed to develop a program self-assessment checklist grounded in established standards that focus on the food and nutrition services of child care operations. The project goal was to build on this structure and provide a comprehensive program self-assessment checklist that, when used at a regular interval such as once each year,
would enhance existing training and program development efforts. The final outcomes were two self-assessment checklists: one for child care centers and one for family day care home providers. The full report is available online athttp://www.nfsmi.org/Information/cacfp_checklist_report.pdf. Researchers reported the findings in a six-page research monograph, NFSMI Insight #21, which . The six-page report highlights the study described above. Insight #21 is available online
Steps to Nutrition Success Checklist: Child Care Centers
This 24-page self-assessment checklist of best practices or quality indicators is appropriate for empowering child care center providers with the ability to evaluate their operations. The checklist was developed as part of the multiphase research project described above. The full checklist is available online athttp://www.nfsmi.org/Information/childcare_centers_checklist.pdf.
Steps to Nutrition Success Checklist: Family Day Care Homes
This 20-page self-assessment checklist of best practices or quality indicators is appropriate for empowering family day care home providers with the ability to evaluate their operations. The checklist was developed as part of the multiphase research project described above. The full checklist is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/fdch_checklist.pdf.
Training Needs Assessment of Family Day Care Home Providers Participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
A telephone survey was conducted using a proportional stratified random sample (N=700) of Family Day Care Home (FDCH) providers representing the seven U.S. Department of Agriculture regions. There were 364 respondents (52%) who participated in the study; the majority (96.4%) indicated that they participated in training. Respondents reported that the preferred location for training is offsite from the FDCH and preferred method of training is through hands-on activities and small group sessions. Also, 342 (94%) respondents conveyed that they would attend approved training conducted by a provider/mentor as reinforcement to sponsor monitor-directed training. The findings indicated that FDCH providers should embrace training opportunities. Training professionals and sponsoring organizations are advised to explore diverse forms of delivering training to FDCH providers. The full report is available online on at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/Research.html.
Program Operations Research
Healthy School Nutrition Environment: Results of a Nationwide Survey of School Personnel
Participants in the study were superintendents, principals, school business officials, coaches, teachers, school foodservice managers, and school foodservice directors. The purpose of the study was to identify both the components that contribute to a healthy school nutrition environment and the barriers that hinder the development of such an environment. The 84-page report is now available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/HSNE.pdf and reports information on vending machines, school stores, and fundraising activities from these various perspectives. Researchers also reported the study findings in a six-page research monograph,
NFSMI Insight #22, which is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/Newsletters/insight22.pdf.
Relationships of Meal and Recess Schedules to Plate Waste in Elementary Schools
This 36-page report describes a study conducted in an elementary school in Washington State that evaluated the impact of recess before and after lunch on plate waste and nutrient consumption. In addition, researchers measured the impact of the length of the lunch period, either 20 minutes or 30 minutes, on plate waste and nutrient consumption. Food waste decreased from 40.1% to 27.2% when recess was scheduled before lunch. Children who participated in a 30-minute lunch period consumed significantly more food and nutrients (except vitamin C) than those who had the 20-minute lunch period. The full report is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/meal_recess_report.pdf. Researchers also reported the study findings in a six-page research monograph, NFSMI Insight #24, which is available online at http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/Newsletters/insight24.pdf.
Prevalence of Food Production Systems in School Foodservice
The 54-page report describes a nationwide survey to review the prevalence of central kitchens, site-based kitchens, and combinations of central and site-based kitchens in school settings.
School districts representing 49 states participated in the study. The sample (n=540) reflected enrollments ranging from less than 2,500 to more than 10,000 students. The most frequently reported production system was onsite kitchens (45.3%). The full report is available online
Financial Management Research
Assessment of the NFSMI FUNDamentals Software Application as a Financial Management Tool in School Foodservice Operations
This publication reports on the results of a telephone survey to assess the usefulness of the NFSMI FUNDamentals software application to school foodservice administrators as a financial management tool. Overall, the study indicated that respondents were divided almost equally in their perceptions of the software application as a helpful tool in school foodservice operations. Fifty-one percent (n=77) of the respondents to the survey were positive in their opinions about the software as an analysis tool; however there were concerns about the amount of time involved in the set-up phase. Forty-nine percent (n=73) of the survey respondents said they were not using the software due to is level of difficulty and a lack of time for the installation phase. For more information regarding FUNDamentals, contact the Applied Research Division at (601) 266-5773.