Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding

Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused confusion among school administrators about More

A Scoping Review of the Use of Indigenous Food Sovereignty Principles for Intervention and Future Directions

Indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) represents a community-led movement with potential to reduce health inequities, but no scoping review of the impact of taking an IFS approach on intervention research has been conducted. This review sought to: 1) describe intervention studies that employ IFS principles, and 2) describe the impact of studies using IFS principles on More

7 Key Findings on The Benefits of Healthy School Meals for All

Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to help all children eat healthier. More

Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the federal meal programs typically utilized More

Messages Promoting Healthy Kids’ Meals: An Online RCT

Calorie labeling is now required on all large U.S. chain restaurant menus, but its influence on consumer behavior is mixed. This study examines whether different parent-targeted messages encourage parents to order lower-calorie meals for their children in a hypothetical online setting. An online RCT was conducted with primary caregivers of children aged 6–12 years. Participants More

Special Issue on School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-I: Findings Related to Improving Diet Quality, Weight, and Disparities in U.S. Children

School meals are important contributors to the healthy diets of our nation’s children, especially those in food insecure households, according to new papers published in a special issue of the journal Nutrients. The papers address urgent policy challenges related to food security, childhood obesity, sugar consumption, and racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to More

A Qualitative Study of Parents With Children 6 to 12 Years Old: Use of Restaurant Calorie Labels to Inform the Development of a Messaging Campaign

U.S. law mandates that chain restaurants with 20 or more locations post calorie information on their menus to inform consumers and encourage healthy choices. This study aimed to better understand parents’ perceptions and use of calorie labeling and the types of messages that might increase use. Researchers conducted 10 focus groups (n = 58) and More

Identifying geographic differences in children’s sugar‐sweetened beverage and 100% fruit juice intake using health system data

This study aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of using health system data to examine the geographic distribution of sugar‐sweetened beverage intake and evaluate neighborhood characteristics associated with intake. Researchers extracted electronic health record data from a sugar‐sweetened beverage and 100% fruit juice screener used for children ages 1 to 17 years in eight pediatric practices in North More

Schools Find Success in Reducing Sodium in Meals

Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake among America’s children and School More

Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies

This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 to 2011 (n = 240) More