173790 Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Preschool Children

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:00 AM

Kendra E. Witt, MPH , Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, Meridian, ID
Carolyn Dunn, PhD , North Carolina Cooperative Extension, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Child care settings provide an opportunity to address the childhood obesity epidemic and encourage healthy eating and physical activity. Color Me Healthy (CMH) is an interactive nutrition and physical activity program developed for preschool children, ages four and five, in child care settings. One of the foci of CMH is colors of healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. The current study examined if CMH increased preschool aged children's consumption of fruit and vegetables. The study also determined if child and center variables predicted consumption. Seventeen child care centers were randomly assigned: ten centers (n=165 children) received CMH and seven centers (n=98 children) acted as comparisons. All children were given fruit snacks and vegetable snacks at baseline, one week and 3 months after the program was complete. Repeated Measures ANOVA determined that children who received CMH consumed significantly more fruit snack at one week (F(1,149)= 62.26, p<.000) and 3 months (F(1, 149)= 17.41, p<.000) after the program was complete. Vegetable snack consumption also significantly increased at one week (F(1,120)= 27.99, p<.000) and 3 months (F(1, 120)= 46.53, p<.000). Given the nested structure of the study, Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to determine if child and center level variables predicted consumption. The only significant variable was receiving CMH („fruit=.28, t= 3.07, p<.010; „veg=.64, t= 9.00, p<.000) there were no other significant child or center level variables. The results from the current study are significant because it provides evidence that child care curriculum can influence healthy eating among children during developmentally important years.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate Color Me Healthy, a nutrition and physical activity program developed for preschool aged children in child care facilities. 2. Asses if Color Me Healthy increases childrenís consumption of fruits and vegetables. 3. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, identify child level and facility level variables that predict childrenís consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Keywords: Child Care, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the study, collected the data, and analyzed the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.