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Participants reported they were able to apply the information presented in the training to the school setting.Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals The training focused on a critical issue facing SN personnel and was of particular benefit for the population of the region represented in the training.According to the Delta Health Alliance (DHA), the 18 counties that comprise the Mississippi Delta share characteristics that impact the health of their residents: they are located in rural areas, have high levels of poverty, and their populations have relatively high percentages of African Americans, making them particularly vulnerable to the disproportionate disease burden that accompanies our nation’s existing racial and ethnic health disparities (DHA, 2008).Children in food insufficient households have lower general health status and more negative health-related symptoms, including under nutrition associated with both under- and overweight.The Office of Child Nutrition in the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools collaborated with researchers to enlist participants in 18 counties served by the DHA.Twenty-six SN administrators/managers and one foodservice assistant from four counties attended the workshop at the NFSMI, Oxford, MS.Multiple evaluation strategies were used: pre- and post-training learning assessments, end-of-seminar session reaction evaluations, and a follow-up survey to assess implementation of the training concepts for those attending the two training sessions (N = 42).Results Data show that the training, “Meeting Special Food and Nutrition Needs of Students in the School Setting,” was effective in increasing participants’ knowledge of various aspects of the federal regulations, as well as specifics of several special needs conditions.
Most SN managers serve at least one child in their school with special dietary needs. Oakley, Ph D, RD, LD, FADA; Kathy Knight, Ph D, RD, LD; Margie Hobbs, Ph D; Lacy M.Dodd, MS; Janie Cole, RD, LDPurpose/Objectives The purpose of this investigation was to complete a formal evaluation of a project that provided specialized training for school nutrition (SN) administrators and managers on meeting children’s special dietary needs in the school setting.Diabetes, food allergies, and a variety of disorders that require modifications to the texture of food are the medical conditions reported most frequently (American Diabetes Association, 2003; National Food Service Management Institute [NFSMI], 2006; U. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service [USDA], 2001).The “Meeting Children’s Special Food and Nutrition Needs in the School Setting” sessions were conducted as part of the (NFSMI, 2006) were used as the basis for the training.