Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Background: New meal pattern requirements have recently been introduced and emphasize the serving of vegetable subgroups. These regulations ensure students are offered certain food items, and the selection and consumption of these items are essential to track their progress and effectiveness. This study investigates whether production records are a feasible tool in tracking selection across time by comparing production records with direct observation of food selection in the lunchroom.

Methods: Food selection was measured through direct observation and production records for two consecutive weeks. The frequencies of daily items served were entered into Excel and each food item was coded into the appropriate food group for each method of data collection. The proportion of each food group selected was calculated by taking the total number of servings in each category and diving that number by the total number of items served.

Results: Entrées represented the food category that was served the most, followed by vegetables and fruits. Eleven out of fifteen values for food selection derived from production records fell outside the 95% direct observation confidence intervals. The confidence intervals tended to be relatively narrow because the sample was so large.

Conclusion: Production records have potential to track longitudinal changes in food selection. Using production records as a measurement tool is more feasible when tracking changes in meal component selection than changes in specific fruit and vegetable subgroups. The use of production records present challenges to measurement and should be used in conjunction with other measurement tools.

Additional Files

mph_poster_krafka_claiborne.pdf (62 kB)

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