Maryland’s 2016 Team Nutrition grant, Project SELECT in Middle Schools, was a three year study that focused on improving schools’ lunch and breakfast participation, student’s vegetable sub-group selection, and implementation of local wellness policies. Using the available funding awarded to MSDE, the Maryland School Wellness Partnership evaluated a cafeteria intervention and a nutrition intervention in select counties in Maryland to monitor for changes that may result from the implementation of these interventions. In this study, we worked with school nutrition professionals and children in middle schools across Maryland.
Project SELECT (Student Engagement, Lunchroom Environment, & Culinary Training) in Middle Schools developed and implemented local training and technical assistance to school nutrition professionals regarding food service operations, culinary skills, and Smarter Lunchrooms strategies.
Maryland selected Project SELECT in Middle Schools to assist students participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs with meeting the recommendations set forth in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by providing appealing and nutritious meals, nutrition education and school environments that are conducive to healthy eating.
Tools & Measures
Students and parents/family participated in school meals and food tasting evaluations to inform menu development, as well as the preparation and presentation of foods. A parent and family wellness toolkit was developed and disseminated to support local wellness policy implementation at the school level. All activities were evaluated to assess the impact on: a) schools’ lunch and breakfast participation and vegetable sub-group (dark green, red/orange, beans/peas) selection; b) students’ consumption and selection of vegetable sub-groups; and c) implementation of local wellness policies.
Erin Hager, PhD, Associate Professor