K-12 School Food Service Staff Training Interventions: A Review of the Literature

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BACKGROUND School food service professionals are vital to implementing national nutrition standards in school meal programs. Appropriate and effective training for these professionals may be one key to producing healthful meals that students are excited to eat and also meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient guidelines. A systematic literature review was conducted to understand the scope of interventions conducted with food service staff. METHODS PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and Science Direct databases were searched for articles detailing school food service training interventions in K-12 school settings within the United States. RESULTS Of 2341 articles retrieved, 17 articles describing 14 food service training interventions met the inclusion criteria. While food service staff training was an important component of many comprehensive school health and school meal interventions, there were few studies that specifically addressed school food service staff trainings. Although some best practices can be concluded from the current literature, major gaps in knowledge about effective school food service training interventions and validated research tools remain. CONCLUSIONS As new professional standards are mandated by the USDA, a more thorough evaluation and understanding of best practices is vital to maximize the effectiveness of food service staff training.




Stephens, Lacy, and Carmen Byker Shanks. "K-12 School Food Service Staff Training Interventions: A Review of the Literature." Journal of School Health 85, no. 12 (December 2015): 825-832. DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12338.
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