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Open Access Modifying School Meal Entrées to Improve Child Legume Intake


We studied whether modifying school meal entrées increased legume consumption by K-6th grade children.


Five entrée items were modified to include legumes and served in 3 elementary schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area during the 2013-2014 school year. Comparisons were made between original and modified entrée items for the number of children eating school lunch who selected entrées and for intake (measured by plate waste).


Selection of modified and original items was similar for most entrées in all schools; consumption was lower for 2 modified entrées in 2 schools compared to original entrées. Overall, selection and consumption varied by entrée type and school.


Incorporating legumes into school meal entrées can increase legume consumption by children depending on entrée type.

Keywords: elementary school children; legumes; plate waste; school lunch program; school meals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Statistics and Informatics, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA 2: Life Time, Minneapolis, MN, USA 3: Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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