Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the "offer versus serve" method on school lunch consumption by students in grades 1-3 when nutrition-related achievement of students was similar. This method allows students to decline two of the five food items. The sample included students in grades 1-3 in two public schools in neighboring parishes, Lafourche and Assumption. The Lafourche Parish school was using the "offer versus serve" method, while the Assumption Parish school was using the traditional method of serving lunch. Nutrition achievement of students in both schools was determined; the mean scores of students in the two schools compared favorably. Food consumption data were collected from the students in grades 1-3 at one school using the traditional method of serving and from students in grades 1-3 at another school using the "offer versus serve" method. Comparable menus, days of the week, procedures, and food consumption raters were used. An analysis of the data revealed that there was no significant difference at the .05 level of confidence in the consumption of the meat, salad, dessert, and milk items between methods of serving, There was a significant difference in the consumption of vegetables, fruit, and bread at the .01 level of confidence and the combination dish at the .05 level of confidence. In three of the instances in which the null hypotheses were rejected, consumption of vegetables, bread, and the combination dish was greater when the "offer versus serve" method was used. The study indicated that food consumption was not adversely affected when "offer versus serve" was implemented, thus supporting the theory that neither method of serving was superior to the other in terms of food consumption. Therefore, it is recommended that the "offer versus serve" method be implemented with a nutrition education program involving students, parents, teachers, and food service personnel.