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ERIC Number: EJ989107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Children's Selection of Fruit and Vegetables in a "Dream versus Healthy" Lunch-Box Survey
Dresler-Hawke, Emma; Whitehead, Dean; Parker, Leigh
Health Education Journal, v71 n6 p736-745 Nov 2012
Background: Internationally, it is well established that the behaviour, performance, and achievement of schoolchildren is directly linked to the nutritional status of overall diet -- including the contents of their school lunch-boxes. In a previous survey study by the lead authors, primary school children's food consumption behaviour was investigated. Results indicated that most children's lunch-boxes contained an over-representation of "undesirable" food groups and an under-representation of fruit and vegetables. This follow-up study examined children's awareness of healthy food choices and investigated what food groups children would choose if given free choice when constructing a lunch-box. Methods: The data was obtained by surveying 1,184 primary school children from eight different urban primary schools in the Manawatu Region of New Zealand. Food items included in this survey represented the 40 most common foods from the previous study. A series of accompanying food charts were used in combination with the checklists. From these lists the children were asked to construct a hypothetical ideal "dream" lunch-box and a "healthy" lunch-box. Results: Results indicated a significant difference between the fruit and vegetable content between lunch-boxes, demonstrating that children understood fruit and vegetables are healthy -- but that they did not necessarily translate this knowledge into action. Conclusion: The influences on children's choices in fruit and vegetables are as complex as the barriers to them eating. This study offers unique insight into the knowledge and behaviours of schoolchildren when selecting and consuming fruit and vegetables -- especially given a degree of autonomy and choice. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand