Description of the Nutrition Intervention Component
The NUTRITION (Nut) intervention component was designed to impact all foods and beverages available to students throughout the total school food environment, including:
- federal meal programs such as the School Breakfast Program (SPB), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), After-School Snack Program, and the Supper Program
- a la carte venues such as snack bars and school stores
- vending machines
- school fundraisers
- classroom parties and celebrations
The targeted changes were linked to 5 goals:
- Lower the average fat content of food served in school.
- Serve at least 2 servings of fruit and/or vegetables per student on NSLP and 1 serving per student on SBP per day.
- Serve all dessert and snack foods with no more than 200 calories per single serving size and/or package.
- Eliminate milk greater than 1% fat, all other added sugar beverages and 100% fruit juice (100% fruit juice may only be served as 6 ounces or less as part of SBP and/or after-school snacks).
- Serve at least 2 servings of grain-based foods and/or legumes, with at least 2 grams of fiber per serving per student on NSLP and at least 1 serving per student on SBP each day.
The nutrition intervention component represented a continuous effort and evolving implementation and maintenance of strategies and activities.
A manual describes the elements of the nutrition intervention component:
- For each goal, multiple strategies were developed to change the food and beverage items available to students.
- Activities were held in the schools for the purpose of educating and promoting good nutrition choices and behaviors.
- Cafeteria learning laboratories were fun interactive learning experiences to teach students why specific changes were being made to the foods and beverages available to them at school and how those changes aimed to promote healthier eating habits.
- Taste test events offered samples of new or unfamiliar items, sometimes in ‘competition’ with the standard fare, to promote student interest in and acceptance of new food products made available in the school environment during the intervention.
- Cafeteria line messages were displayed so that as the students went through the cafeteria line, they could read interesting facts, Q&A, quotes from other students, etc. related to healthy eating and choices.