Community partnership to address snack quality and cost in after-school programs.
Sommaire de l'article
Policies call on after-school programs (ASPs) to serve more nutritious snacks. A major barrier for improving snack quality is cost. This study describes the impact on snack quality and expenditures from a community partnership between ASPs and local grocery stores.
Four large-scale ASPs (serving ˜500 children, aged 6-12 years, each day) and a single local grocery store chain participated in this study. The nutritional quality of snacks served was recorded preintervention (18 weeks spring/fall 2011) and postintervention (7 weeks spring 2012) via direct observation, along with cost/child/snack/day.
Preintervention snacks were low-nutrient-density salty snacks (eg, chips, 3.0 servings/week), sugar-sweetened beverages (eg, powdered-lemonade, 1.9 servings/week), and desserts (eg, cookies, 2.1 servings/week), with only 0.4 servings/week of fruits and no vegetables. By postintervention, fruits (3.5 servings/week) and vegetables (1.2 servings/week) were increased, whereas sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts were eliminated. Snack expenditures were $0.26 versus $0.24 from preintervention to postintervention. Partnership savings versus purchasing snacks at full retail cost was 24.5% or $0.25/serving versus $0.34/serving.
This innovative partnership can serve as a model in communities where ASPs seek to identify low-cost alternatives to providing nutritious snacks.