Full Article

Welcome Spring! This is my favorite season as I watch the beautiful trees and flowers start to bloom around campus. I also find it to be a time of rejuvenation and refocusing in both my work and home life. It’s a time for taking stock of what has been done and looking forward to what is up and coming using a strategic mindset.  As a member of the SNA Nutrition & Research Committee we had opportunity to look forward and work on the School Nutrition Association 2022 Research Agenda.  The Agenda is strategically focused on five research priorities: 1) Meal Participation, 2) Emergency Preparedness & Feeding Strategies, 3) Rural Districts, 4) Mentorship & Staff Development, and 5) Value & Outcomes of School Nutrition Programs.  As you look toward your own research projects with strategic direction or what needs you are facing in your operation, consider making contribution to JCNM in one of these priority areas of research.  May you also find time to enjoy the beauty of Spring…

In This Issue

This issue of the Journal has three Research in Action articles. For the first article, Simmons et al. analyzed the potential impact of Child Nutrition Programs on nutrition and dietary quality. Their findings note the possible implications of implementing all Child Nutrition Programs (i.e. SBP, NSLP, FFVP, ASSP). In the next article by Hallmark et al., researchers assessed child nutrition program managers’ use, satisfaction importance and the state and helpfulness of the state meal planning guide. The authors concluded that the Mississippi Recipes for Success Guide provides resources that are perceived as helpful and important in assisting managers with menu regulation compliance. The last article in this section, by Jindrich et al., explored vegetarian menu substitution practices at 85 childcare centers in Kansas; additionally, researchers determined menu writers’ job titles and occupational categories. Findings suggested that even though most centers did not receive requests for vegetarian options, they provided a vegetarian meal at least once a week. Menu writers were often owners of the childcares and did not have a nutrition or health credential.

This issue presents two Research Brief articles. In the first article of this section, Landry et al., determined procurement amounts in two Mississippi school districts, one which participated in the FFVP and the other did not. Results of this study showed that juices and potatoes were the largest amounts procured for the non-FFVP district, whereas apples and potatoes were the largest amounts procured in the FFVP district. The last article, Landry et al., described the perceived benefits and barriers when changing from Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP) to Universal Free Meals. The findings suggest that most participants are willing to participate in Universal Free Meals given the reduction of paperwork and elimination of the concern for unpaid meal debt. Finally, the USDA Food and Nutrition Research Summary provides a description of ongoing and future work relevant to the field.

Happy reading…

Susan W. Arendt, PhD, RD, FAND
Editor, Journal of Child Nutrition and Management
School Nutrition Association