Background. This study tested the feasibility and acceptability of adding a reimbursable snack that meets the Institute of Medicine nutrition recommendations to an afterschool homework program for middle school students. Methods. Snack menu was developed and administered to students attending an afterschool homework program over 12 weeks. In spring 2009, two cross-sections of middle school students completed study measures, including snack preferences. Key school personnel completed follow-up interviews assessing program feasibility. Results. Survey evaluations from 110 students at baseline and 113 at posttest suggested improved preferences for healthy snacks. Teacher supervisors (n = 3) and the assistant principal rated the pilot project as feasible and beneficial, whereas school food service (n = 3) rated the program unsustainable because of administration logistics and costs. Conclusions. The addition of healthy snacks to afterschool programs was liked by students and teachers. However, policies that support simpler accountability procedures may be needed for school-based afterschool snack programs to be sustainable.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article:This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCI 7K07-CA114314-03).
- Afterschool programs
- School food environments
- School-age children