In 2004, the Chicago schools began a "Cool Food" program, offering salad bars in schools. In a 2005–06 project, researchers from the Chicago Food System Collaborative studied whether providing nutrition education to children affected their lunch choices in schools with salad bars.
The Chicago Food System Collaborative is a consortium of community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, technical assistance providers and academic institutions. One of its missions is to increase access to healthy foods in minority communities.
Jamie B. Bussel, the project's program officer at RWJF, notes that the main finding is: "When the environmental change of offering salad bars in schools has been implemented, their use is increased, especially when the change is also coupled with nutrition education."
- Children ate more fresh fruit and vegetables after receiving nutrition education.
- Children's knowledge of fruits and vegetables significantly increased after receiving nutrition education.
- Slow Progress in Changing the School Food Environment June 5, 2012
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Competitive Beverage and Food Guidelines October 1, 2012
- Improving School Foods Through the Team Nutrition Program November 1, 2011
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