A new University of Minnesota study has found that food service workers in school lunch programs lack understanding and resources to achieve the goal of offering more whole grain options to students. The study involved Minnesota school food-service directors and appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management.
The researchers found that while food-service workers are aware of the health benefits of whole-grain foods, they aren’t always sure whether a particular product meets the whole-grain criteria. The directors surveyed also cited higher costs and difficulty finding vendors who sold whole-grain products as factors hampering the introduction of more whole grains into school meals. Most experts recommend at least three servings of whole-grain foods a day, but children in the U.S. average only about one per day.