Promoting healthy eating and active playtime by connecting to nature families with preschool children. Evaluation of pilot study « Play&Grow ».
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This pilot project aimed to evaluate the "Play&Grow" program which promotes age-appropriate dietary habits and playtime healthy routines through "connectedness to nature" experiences in Hong Kong families with young children.
38 pre-schoolers (aged 33.97 ± 9.38 months), mothers and their domestic workers were recruited. The families attended one workshop/week for a 4-month period, consisting of: 1) health topic; 2) food games; 3) nature-related outdoor activities.
Feeding practices, particularly Promoting and Encouragement to eat (PE) and Instrumental Feeding (IF) improved after the intervention (p =.008 and .016, respectively). Mother's BMI, responsibility for child's meal, child's birth weight had a bearing on the improvement of PE, r(2) =.243, F (3,33)=3.54, p=.025. Domestic helper's responsibility for child's cooking and her IF practices could predict child's picky eating (r(2) =.203, F (2,34)= 4.322, p =.021). Mother's responsibility for child and helper's responsibility for cooking could predict child's consumption of salty foods (r(2) =.252, F (2,34)= 5.737, p =.007). Physical activity of caregivers improved after the intervention.
The pilot confirmed the design, protocols, evaluation instruments and logistics of the study. Modified "Play&Grow" intervention will be conducted in a more rigorous randomized controlled trial to determine the long-term impact on obesity prevention in Hong Kong.