Implementation and outcome evaluation of a team nutrition intervention: increasing knowledge, attitudes, and preferences

Natoshia M. Askelson, Patrick Brady, Grace Ryan, Carrie Scheidel, Patti Delger, Phuong Nguyen, Youn Soo Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Low-income, rural children are at a greater risk for poor dietary intake. Schools offer a venue to deliver appropriate interventions. Our aim was to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of Healthy Schools, Healthy Students (HSHS). We conducted a mixed-methods evaluation using a cluster-randomized trial design with 20 schools in a rural, Midwestern state. HSHS included education sessions, cafeteria coaching and taste testing. We interviewed implementers (n = 13) and nutrition educators (n = 8), conducted six focus groups with cafeteria coaches, and surveyed fourth graders (n = 1057) about their nutrition knowledge, attitudes toward and preferences for fruits and vegetables (F&V), F&V consumption and MyPlate awareness. We used multi-level linear models to estimate the intervention effect and qualitative data were coded. There were very few challenges to implementation. HSHS participation was positively associated with knowledge, attitudes toward F&V, preferences for vegetables from the taste tests, MyPlate awareness and vegetable consumption. HSHS was viewed as beneficial and easy to deliver, suggesting this type of intervention could be widely implemented. Improving knowledge and attitudes through nutrition education and preferences through taste testing have the potential to improve dietary intake among rural students. Low-cost nutrition interventions can be successfully implemented in rural elementary schools with positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalHealth education research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 23 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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