Factors affecting fruit and vegetable school lunch waste in Wisconsin elementary schools participating in Farm to School programmes.
Sommaire de l'article
To examine characteristics potentially associated with school lunch fruit and vegetable waste, both overall and pre/post implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Multi-year (2010-2013) cross-sectional study using pre- and post-meal digital photographs of students' school lunch trays to estimate fruit and vegetable availability and consumption. Fruit and vegetable items were categorized for factors suspected to impact waste: prior farm to school years, placement (main menu, salad bar), procurement (local, conventional), preparation (cooked, raw) and meal component (entrée, side, topping). Analyses to assess within-category differences in waste volume were performed using a Tobit model.
Wisconsin elementary schools participating in farm to school programmes, USA.
Children in third to fifth grade.
Many within-factor differences were detected overall and/or across time. Cooked fruits were wasted less than raw, while cooked vegetables were wasted more than raw. Where identified, locally sourced items were wasted more than conventionally sourced (+0·1 cups, P<0·0001) and salad bar items more than main menu items (+0·01 cups, P<0·0001). Increasing prior farm to school years decreased waste (-0·02 cups, P<0·0001). Items previously tried were wasted at the same volume whether reported as liked or not. New school lunch meal pattern requirement implementation did not uniformly impact fruit and vegetable waste across all categories and there was no change in waste for seven of fifteen assessed categories.
Many factors impact elementary students' school lunch waste. These factors may be helpful for school food-service authorities to consider when planning school menus.