Nutrition education strategies to promote vegetable consumption in preschool children - The Veggies4myHeart Project

Cátia Braga-Pontes, Sara Simões-Dias, Marlene Lages, Maria P. Guarino, Pedro Graça

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To test the efficacy of three nutrition education strategies on the intake of different vegetables in preschool children. Design: This is an experimental study conducted in four Portuguese preschools. The intervention consisted of 20-minutes educational sessions, once a week, for five weeks, with one of the following randomized educational strategies: Portuguese Food Wheel Guide (control), digital game, storybook, storybook and reward (stickers). All groups had repeated exposure to vegetables in all sessions. A pre- and post-test were conducted to determine vegetable intake and a 6-month follow-up was realized. Setting: Preschools of Leiria district, Portugal. Participants: A sample of 162 children aged 3 to 6 years. All eligible children attending the preschools were invited to participate. Results: All interventions tested were effective in increasing vegetable consumption both in the short and medium-term, without statistically significant differences, compared to the control group. Stickers were more effective in the short-term than in the medium term. Conclusions: The nutritional education strategies associated with repeated exposure tested in this study were effective in promoting vegetable consumption in preschool children. The use of stickers may be a valid strategy to promote the consumption of vegetables less recognized by children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • child
  • health education
  • preschool
  • vegetables
  • video games

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