Development of a school-based intervention to promote fruit and vegetable consumption: exploring perceptions among 4-to-12-year old children and their parents
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Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this research is to explore individual and social factors that are associated with children’s F&V (fruit and vegetable) intake in order to develop a school-based intervention to increase their F&V consumption.
Design/methodology/approach – Group interviews were conducted with ten groups of Dutch children (n=104), aged 4-12 years, and two groups of parents (n=28). Additionally, a total of ten parents participated in an interview by telephone. Opinions about the actual F&V consumption, awareness of consumption patterns, attitudes towards F&V, promotion of F&V consumption by parents and F&V intake at school were explored. Transcripts were analysed using Nvivo 2.0.
Findings – Several factors that are likely to increase F&V consumption of the participants were identified, such as preferences, modeling of F&V consumption by teachers and parents and availability of F&V in ready-to-eat form at home and school. Although both children and parents favoured activities to promote F&V at school, most parents were not willing to participate in these activities.
Research limitations/implications – The present study obtains information from a broad perspective, and not from a representative sample.
Practical implications – This article is a useful source for health promotion planners that are developing food-related interventions for children.
Originality/value – Information on factors that influence children’s F&V consumption is usually acquired through parents. It is questionable whether parents are aware of the factors that influence their children’s food choice. Therefore this study combined information gathered among parents with information gathered directly among children.