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Familiarity and Use of MyPlate: An Online Focus Group Exploration Among Midwestern K–12 Teachers

Published:October 28, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.08.017

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine teachers’ familiarity and use of MyPlate, including barriers to using it.

      Methods

      Twenty kindergarten through grade 12 teachers were recruited from 1 urban and suburban school district in the Midwest to participate in virtual focus groups regarding familiarity, use, and barriers to MyPlate. A basic descriptive qualitative approach with thematic analysis was guided by systems thinking. Common categories were coded and agreed on by the authors.

      Results

      Findings included main categories of individual awareness, use in curriculum, and appropriate facilitators of MyPlate. Awareness and use of MyPlate were mixed. Teachers integrated MyPlate in math, history, and other subjects. Barriers included packed curriculum and cultural issues. The facilitators of MyPlate mentioned were health or physical education teachers.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Online focus groups successfully collected formative data on teachers’ perspectives toward MyPlate. The technology could be used in future similar research. Enhanced teacher training may improve the integration of MyPlate into schools. School teachers identified major barriers to MyPlate in the classroom, including lack of time and resources. There was mixed feedback on how MyPlate and nutrition may be used in school curricula. Enhanced teacher training may improve the integration of MyPlate into schools.

      Key Words

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