Research-Based Recommendations to Improve Child Nutrition in Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs

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Child Trends

Want children to eat a healthier diet? Make certain they know what a healthy diet is and expose them to the foods they should be eating. Those are among suggestions in this brief about how schools and out-of-school programs can assess their students’ diets and help to improve them.

A 2007 federal study found that eight of 10 children do not have a healthy diet; among the reasons: the availability of calorie-ridden sugary and salty snacks at school and at home. As these children age, their diets only deteriorate, leading to obesity and other medical issues.

The brief includes questions youth workers can ask to determine how nutritious their students’ diets are and information that can help them show the students more healthful ways to eat, including instructing children on how to read food labels and getting parents involved in their children’s nutrition. Free, six pages. (202) 572-6000,