[Morning snack offer in primary school: outlook and practices in Aquitaine, France, between 2004 and 2008.]
Sommaire de l'article
The Nutrition, Prevention and Health for Children and Teenagers in Aquitaine program is a regional implementation of the French National Program of Nutrition and Health (PNNS). The first of two surveys of a representative sample of Aquitaine preschools was conducted in 2004-2005. This survey showed that more than 2/3 of teachers offered a morning snack to their pupils at around 10 o'clock in the morning, mainly composed of sweet cakes, cookies, or candies. Following this initial survey, actions were implemented starting in September 2005, aiming to stop systematic morning snacks or improve their composition. The same survey was repeated during 2007-2008 in order to analyze the changes in morning snack practices in preschools between 2004-2005 and 2007-2008. Data were collected from teachers of Aquitaine's preschools who filled out questionnaires. Schools were randomly chosen according to their size and whether or not they belonged to a priority education zone (ZEP). The results show that 57.9% of teachers organized a morning snack in 2007-2008, versus 68.7% in 2004-2005. In 2004-2005, 22% of teachers considered the morning snack as "unjustified" compared to 44% in 2007-2008. The composition of morning snacks improved: 17.7% of teachers offered fruit and/or milk in 2007-2008 versus 8.5% in 2004-2005. Morning snacks composed of other foods (such as sweets, chocolate pieces, cookies, pastries, bread, fruit juice) decreased from 60.2% in 2004-2005 to 40.2% in 2007-2008. In 2007-2008, 19% of the teachers reported that children had snacks in their schoolbag versus 34% in 2004-2005. The proportion of teachers reporting children having snacks in their schoolbag decreased from 34% in 2004-2005 to 19% in 2007-2008. Comparison between these two surveys is encouraging as it shows an improvement of the perception and practices of teachers regarding morning snacks. These results encourage the partners of this program to continue the fieldwork actions.