Nutrition education in Minnesota public schools: Perceptions and practices of teachers
A random sample of 1890 elementary and secondary teachers in Minnesota public schools was surveyed to determine their perceptions and practices regarding nutrition education. The survey response rate was 47% (n = 894). Data were analyzed using cumulative frequencies and chi-square procedures. Seventy-nine percent of the teachers taught nutrition. Teachers with previous training in nutrition were more likely to teach nutrition than those without training. Teachers who had taken a college course were more likely to teach more than 10 hours of nutrition per year. Other factors related to the amount of nutrition education taught included grade level, subject area, and whether or not nutrition was taught as a separate subject, integrated into other subjects, or both. Less than one-third of teachers collaborated with community resources to provide nutrition education, while 26% collaborated with school food service and 45% tried to involve parents. Barriers to nutrition education included lack of time, training, curriculum materials, and administrative support. Recommendations for increasing nutrition education and collaboration included providing college course work in nutrition for all teachers and providing joint nutrition training programs for teachers and school foodservice staff.
Stang, J; Story, M; Kalina, B
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