Evaluating Preschool Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Preference, Knowledge and Consumption
Background/Purpose: Although fruit and vegetable (F & V) consumption reduces the risk of obesity, and related diseases, less than a third of the U.S. child population consumes the USDA recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Accurately determining fruit and vegetable preference and consumption in children is a necessary step to a successful intervention.
Method: Preschool children (age 4; n = 192) were individually interviewed about knowledge, preference, and perceptions of fruits and vegetables. F&V consumption at school was also measured by coding each child's tray waste during a one week time period. Parents (n = 172) were surveyed on parenting practices and parent and child consumption, knowledge, and preference.
Analysis/Results: Chi square with McNemar test for matching and odds ratios were performed to determine parent-child response concordance for F & V preference. Most F&V items had good concordance between parent and child; however, children frequently reported liking a fruit or vegetable even when a parent reported the child disliked. In addition, discrepancies existed between child reported preference and their F&V consumption at school. Discrepancies also existed between parent reported practices and child perceptions of parenting practices.
Conclusions: Obtaining input from both parent and child framed in a behavioral theory provides a more accurate understanding of the food environment necessary for interventions. The coding of F & V tray waste provides an objective measure of F & V consumption.
American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Annual Conference (AAHPERD)
Hansen, Andrew, Moya L. Alfonso, Robert L. Vogel, John S. Luque, Jen Nickelson, Amy A. Hackney.
"Evaluating Preschool Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Preference, Knowledge and Consumption."
Community Health Faculty Presentations.