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Parents shape whether their children learn to eat fruits and vegetables
Date:8/11/2008

m, were randomly assigned to two groups. One group enrolled in the High 5 for Kids program, and the other group received standard visits from Parents as Teachers. In the High 5 for Kids group, parents first completed a pretest interview about fruit and vegetable consumption.

Parent educators then visited the home four times, providing examples of parent-child activities designed around nutrition, such as teaching the child the names and colors of various fruits and vegetables and having the child select a variety of fruits and vegetables for breakfast. At each visit, parents also received materials and informational handouts with suggestions for improving feeding practices and the food environment in the home. Many of these materials were tailored to the individual patterns of that parent, with suggestions for how to improve his or her specific intake and that of their child.

Additionally, children were given four High 5 for Kids sing-along-stories with audiocassettes and coloring books.

The same parent interviewed before the intervention completed a telephone survey to determine changes in the number of fruits and vegetables eaten and behaviors of both the preschool children and parent. The average time between the before and after intervention survey was seven months.

Parents in the High 5 for Kids group ate significantly more fruits and vegetables, and a change in the parent's servings of fruits and vegetables predicted a change in the child's diet, too. An increase of one fruit or vegetable serving per day in a parent was associated with an increase of half a fruit or vegetable serving per day in his or her child. These parents also reported an increase in fruit and vegetable knowledge and availability of fruits and vegetables in the home.

Although the High 5 for Kids program was effective in improving fruit and vegetable intake in children of normal weight, overweight children in this group did not eat more of these
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Contact: Diane Duke Williams
williamsdia@wustl.edu
314-286-0111
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert

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