Offer Versus Serve
Prior to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that adjusted the guidelines for the offer versus serve policy, children would often take the protein, starch and dairy meal components, but leave the vegetable and fruit behind. This phenomenon is what inspired the Rudd Center's fruit study to see whether serving fruit would encourage more children to eat fruit with their lunch. The study found that a simple verbal prompt has a significant impact on the likelihood that children will take, and subsequently consume, a fruit serving as part of their purchased school lunch. To download a copy of the full research paper, please click here. In light of the findings, we recommended that children be served fruits and vegetables (rather than offered) in order to increase their intake of important nutrients.