Objective: To describe how school foodservice personnel use current labeling methods to identify whole-grain products and the influence on purchasing for school meals. Methods: Focus groups explored labeling methods to identify whole-grain products and barriers to incorporating whole-grain foods in school meals. Qualitative analysis procedures and the constant comparative method were used to analyze data. Results: Participants were school foodservice personnel (n = 67) in 5 states across the United States. Limited ability and confidence were demonstrated in identifying whole-grain products from label information, statements, and claims. Participants indicated a need for a uniform labeling method such as whole-grain content to assist in ordering and purchasing. High cost and low acceptability were listed as barriers to incorporating whole-grain foods in school meals. Conclusions and Implications: Whole-grain product labeling should be improved to enhance understanding by foodservice personnel so that whole grains are included in school meals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge David Hesse for his assistance with analysis of focus group transcripts; the School Nutrition Associations of Wisconsin and Georgia; and Becky Bays, Dena England, and Brenda Braulick for assistance with participant recruitment. This project was supported by funding from the USDA .
- Food labels
- School foodservice
- Whole grain