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.
As usual, this issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management is packed with practical information that is useful to child nutrition professionals, state agency professionals, educators, researchers, university students, and others. School wellness policies are in the news as food prices are rising and some are wondering if the cost of food will affect the progress that many schools have made in their food choices. Those of us involved in school nutrition programs know that school nutrition professionals will find a way to offer healthy choices even in the midst of rising food prices. McDonnell and Probart have studied school employees’ participation in local wellness policy development and found that top concerns about implementation were related to cost, support from key stakeholders, and enforcement.
Heneman and colleagues completed a formal evaluation of Reading Across My Pyramid and found it was effective at increasing the health behavior knowledge of first and second grade children in California. Heneman and colleagues also conducted a pilot study of Improving Children’s Health through Farming, Food, and Fitness (CHF3). The CHF3 is designed to establish salad bars and integrate nutrition messages into cafeteria activities; develop education curricula, integrate a garden “laboratory” with nutrition information; and develop food-waste composting system. Their study results included increased nutrition knowledge among children.
Carr and Cross conducted a descriptive case study of reimbursable vended lunches for high school students. This timely topic is important as districts consider additional revenue sources, labor costs, line speed, convenience, after-hours sales, and enticements to keep students on campus.
Zoellner and Carr studied the need for web-based training among school nutrition directors and found that directors were very interested in web-based training. The five topics of highest interest were sanitation, food safety, and employee safety; financial management and record-keeping; nutrition and menu planning; program accountability; and computer technology.
Chan and colleagues found that substituting white whole wheat flour in pizza crust did not affect consumption by elementary school children. Increasing the number and variety of whole grain menu items is a priority for child nutrition professionals.
This issue also includes Endahl’s summary of child nutrition research conducted by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Kyunghee Choi, MS, RD, copy editor, and Amber King, graduate assistant, both from Eastern Michigan University. They have contributed their expertise to ensure the continued success of the Journal. I look forward to your feedback on the Journal.
Alice Jo Rainville, PhD, RD, CHE, SNS