Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Public Health Nutrition: 2019 Apr 23:1-11.


PMID: 31010453


© The Authors 2019. Published by Cambridge University Press.


Objective: To: (i) understand the nutrition attitudes, self-efficacy, knowledge and practices of school food-service personnel (SFP) in Nebraska and (ii) identify potential barriers that schools face in offering healthy school meals that meet the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition standards.

Design: Convergent parallel mixed-methods study.

Setting: Kindergarten–12th grade schools in Nebraska, USA.

Participants: SFP (260 survey participants; fifteen focus group participants) working at schools that participate in the USDA National School Lunch Program.

Results: Mixed-methods themes identified include: (i) ‘Mixed attitudes towards healthy meals’, which captured a variety of conflicting positive and negative attitudes depending on the situation; (ii) ‘Positive practices to promote healthy meals’, which captured offering, serving and promotion practices; (iii) ‘Mixed nutrition-related knowledge’, which captured the variations in knowledge depending on the nutrition concept; and (iv) ‘Complex barriers’, which captured challenges with time, support and communication.

Conclusions: The study produced relevant findings to address the barriers identified by SFP. Implementing multicomponent interventions and providing training to SFP may help reduce some of the identified barriers of SFP.