Child Nutrition Tools and Resources

    • October 29, 2010

Recent Reports

Article on High-Calorie Drinks in U.S. Elementary Schools from Bridging the Gap
This journal article reports that almost half of the nation’s public elementary school students had access to unhealthy beverages such as sodas, sports drinks and higher-fat milk in school stores and cafeteria lines during the 2008-09 school year. Few schools limited beverage sales to just healthy choices.

Report on Elementary School Policies and Practices from Bridging the Gap
This report examines how U.S. elementary schools are struggling to support healthy eating and physical activity among students. The report looks at school meals, competitive foods, physical education and wellness initiatives.

Report on School District Wellness Policies from Bridging the Gap
This report surveys the first three years of school district wellness policies mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act. The report finds that, by the end of the 2008-2009 school year, district wellness policies improved, yet they remained weak overall and many did not align with national recommendations for nutrition or physical activity.

School Obesity Report from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
This report, titled “Obesity Prevention Policies for Middle and High Schools: Are We Doing Enough?,” finds that states and school districts lack policies to help middle and high school students be more active and eat healthier.

Improving Child Nutrition Policy: Insights from National USDA Study of School Food Environments
This RWJF policy brief summarizes research findings using data collected in the USDA’s third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III), a survey that provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the overall food environment in public elementary, middle and high schools.

  • Landing page (Has abstracts and links to all of the articles in the supplement)

Local School Wellness Policies: How Are Schools Implementing the Congressional Mandate?
This RWJF research brief reports on school district wellness policies mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. Many of the policies are weak, and the quality varies greatly. School districts cited a lack of resources as a barrier to implementing wellness policies.

Other Resources

Competitive Foods Brief from Healthy Eating Research
This brief surveys the state of competitive foods and beverages in schools. These low-nutrition, high-calorie foods and beverages are largely exempt from federal nutrition requirements.

Preventing Childhood Obesity: A School Health Policy Guide (NASBE Report from 2009)
This guide offers recommendations for schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating policies. It is divided into chapters addressing student health needs and the school’s role in addressing them.

Updated Active Education Brief
This brief summarizes the best available evidence about the relationship between physical activity and academic performance among children and teens.

Impact of Federal Commodity Programs on School Meal Nutrition
This report examines the impact of the federal child nutrition commodity program on the nutritional quality of school meals. Nationally, more than 50 percent of commodity foods are sent to processors before they are sent to schools. Processing is not regulated for nutritional quality and often involves adding fat, sugar and sodium to commodity products. Efforts to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables and decrease the amount of meats and processed foods purchased for school meals would contribute to providing students with much healthier foods.