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Keywords:

  • food experience;
  • fruit and vegetable consumption;
  • health promotion;
  • multimedia;
  • pre-schooler;
  • role model

Abstract

Aim:  To evaluate the use of food experience, multimedia and role models for promoting fruit and vegetable consumption in kindergarten children.

Methods:  A quasi-experimental study was conducted. A Bangkok public primary school was randomly selected and one of the kindergarten levels was purposively chosen. Program implementation consisted of 11 activities over an eight-week period from July to September, 2003. Data on demographic variables, and types and amounts of fruit and vegetables consumed and frequency of fruit and vegetables served were collected before and after the intervention. Program evaluation consisted of an analysis of the pre- and post-test data.

Results:  After the intervention, fruit and vegetable eating behaviour scores (median ± interquartile range) revealed significant changes from 3 ± 8 to 7 ± 8 for vegetables and 6 ± 8 to 9 ± 8 for fruit (P-value < 0.001); the different types of consumed vegetables were increased from two to four (P-value ≤ 0.001); and the fruit and vegetable intake was significantly increased from 53 g to 77 g and from 11 g to 23 g respectively (P-value < 0.005).

Conclusions:  Results of this pilot study were effective in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in the kindergarten, however, longer-term evaluation and assessment of the impact on the home environment are required. The inclusion of nutrition education and instruction on healthy eating habits in the course curriculum combined with social support from teachers and families may improve and sustain fruit and vegetable eating behaviours.