Parental perception of the nutritional quality of school meals and its association with students' school lunch participation

Appetite. 2014 Mar;74:44-7. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.024. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


This study explores the association between parental perception of the nutritional quality of school meals and whether students eat lunch served at school. We use data from five low-income cities in New Jersey that have high minority populations. Students whose parents perceive the quality of school meals to be healthy have greater odds of eating meals served at school. Recent changes in guidelines for the United States Department of Agriculture's National School Lunch Program met with resistance from several fronts. Advocates for and implementers of improved school meals may benefit from partnering with parents to increase the acceptance and utilization of improved school offerings.

Keywords: Parental perception of school meals; School meals programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Food Services / standards
  • Food Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Meals
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New Jersey
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Poverty
  • Schools
  • Students