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February 2007

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School Nutrition Research
February 2007

It was 2000, and Paul Kelly, school nutrition director for Hopewell City (Va.) Public Schools, envisioned an inspiring change. He wanted to increase school breakfast participation, especially in the elementary schools in his district. The first hurdle along the way was persuading key stakeholders, such as school administrators, to work with him toward achieving his lofty goal. This meant impressing upon them the value of eating breakfast at school.

Fast forward some months later. Administrators, now convinced, cleared time for breakfast service. Gradually, Kelly improved access to school breakfast in each and every district school. In particular, elementary-level participation in the morning meal program soared by 50%!

Perseverance certainly proved key to Kelly’s success, but the secret weapon he cites was using external research findings to back up his position. By pointing to the proven track record of school breakfast in advancing student performance, Kelly made a strong case for change. Research allowed him to “be a more informed source and achieve what was needed” for the success of his program, he says.

Imagine what research could do for you. Explore the possibilities in this month’s issue of School Foodservice & Nutrition magazine.

Where can you find the research you need to boost your child nutrition program? Turn to “In Conclusion” to learn about many sources, from the government and academic institutions to associations and industry giants. Next, read “From Abstract to Application” not only for advice on locating appropriate research data, studies and reports, but also examples of the different ways research can be applied to help you strengthen your individual programs and positions. Meanwhile, “The Insider” provides tips on conducting your own research in your own cafeteria!

This month, SF&N also presents a special bonus: “On a Wing and a Prayer?” takes a hard look at the hype surrounding bird flu. What is fact, and what is fiction? What is the safety status of the American food supply? How concerned should you be? This article is intended to provide some fundamentals about avian flu and answer a few of the questions you may be asking. Use this information to address personal concerns; investigate the issue further on your own; and answer questions from parents and others in your community. Whether you’re introducing a new breakfast program, looking for research to back you up or concerned about food safety, SF&N investigates.

feb 07 cover

From Abstract to Application  lock
How can research help you make the case for change?

INPROFILE lock
Two school nutrition experts extol the benefits of earning a PhD, despite obstacles.

On a Wing & a Prayer? lock
With disquieting headlines about bird flu still predominating in the media, what do you need to know to answer food-safety questions from parents and others in your community?

The Insider lock
Who is in the perfect position to research the child nutrition market with a minimal budget—but with unsurpassed expertise—and get great results? You are.

In Conclusion lock
There is an incredible breadth of school nutrition-related research being generated by a wide variety of public and private organizations. Who’s doing what—and how can it help you in your job?


 
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