With the announcement of a new name, School Nutrition Association (SNA),
and slogan, "Making the right food choices, together," SNA
(formerly known as the American School Food Service Association) has
implemented significant changes that represent longstanding efforts to
position itself as a leader in child nutrition. This is a big step for
such a large organization, which was established 58 years ago and is
steeped in history that extends more than a century.
The name change provides an impetus for school districts to become more
introspective about how to provide school meal programs and to look for
new ways to create healthy school environments in a climate of tight
budgets and tough competition. In this sense, child nutrition-related
research is about change—assessing the impact of change, demonstrating
the effectiveness of different approaches to operations and administration,
and suggesting alternate methods to solving problems. We hope that you
will embrace research as a change agent.
Articles in this issue of The Journal of Child
Nutrition & Management
emphasize change. The Current Issues paper, "It's Time for
Whole Grain Products in School Meals," highlights the necessity
of improving the diets of children and decreasing their risk for chronic
diseases by increasing the amount of whole grain products offered through
school meals. These researchers discuss the acceptable level of whole
grain flour in various foods, how to gradually increase the level of
whole grain flour, and the costs involved.
McDonnell et al. examined perceptions and barriers to the School Breakfast
Program. These researchers suggest changes that school foodservice directors
can make to improve the likelihood of success in implementing a new or
expanded breakfast program. Bergman et al. conducted studies for the
National Food Service Management Institute on the impact of recess scheduling
and the length of the lunch period on plate waste and nutrient consumption.
These researchers found that plate waste decreased from 41% to 27% when
recess was scheduled after lunch. When the lunch period was 30 minutes
rather than 20 minutes, students consumed more food and nutrients. Plate
waste was reduced from 43.5% to 27% when the lunch period was increased
by 10 minutes. Again, changing the way schools and school meal programs
have always been run can result in great improvements for children and
As you look for ways to improve your school nutrition programs, I hope
that you will find the information in this issue pertinent and useful.
Please consider becoming involved with the Journal. We are always looking
for both research articles and reviewers. Please review the Contributor
Guidelines for more information about submitting an article and contact
me directly at the link below for more details about volunteering your
time as a reviewer.
Jeannie Sneed, PhD, RD, SFNS, CFSP