Abstract| Volume 51, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S57, July 2019

P55 Behavior-Specific Nutrition Education Intervention Improves Fruit and Vegetable Preference Among Elementary School Children

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      To assess the effectiveness of a nutrition education intervention (NEI) to enhance fruit and vegetable (FV) preference among elementary school children.

      Use of Theory or Research

      A six-week NEI informed by the social cognitive theory. Lessons as well as activities were focused on promoting preference of FV.

      Target Audience

      In total, 115 children in 3rd to 5th grade from four elementary schools (where at least 40% of the children were eligible to obtain free lunch) in the South Plains of Texas participated in this study.

      Program Description

      The study was designed with pre- and post-intervention measurements. Class-based nutrition education (25 minutes once a week), and cooking demonstration sessions (20 minutes once a week) for children, and weekly nutrition handout to parents were implemented.

      Evaluation Methods

      A Likert-scale questionnaire (downward) with 10 fruit and 10 vegetable items were administered during both pre- and post-intervention surveys. The participants were also asked during pre- and post-intervention surveys about three foods they would like to buy/eat more if they had money. Data analysis was carried out with using IBM SPSS Statistics (version 23, Chicago IL), and to assess changes in FV preference, Wilcoxon signed-rank test (paired test) was used.


      Preliminary results show that 51.3% were girls, and 37.4% were African American/Black (Non-Hispanic). Participants had higher preference for fruits than vegetables during both pre- and post-intervention surveys. Preference for fruits (from 17.04 ± 6.00 to 14.43 ± 4.45, lower score indicates higher preference), and vegetables (from 26.73 ± 6.62 to 23.71 ± 7.88, lower score indicates higher preference) improved significantly (P < .05) after the NEI. A significant number of participants (from 62.6% to 88.7%) indicated they would buy/eat at least one fruit or vegetable item/day if they had money, after the intervention (P < .05).


      A multicomponent based NEI that incorporates behavior-specific nutrition lessons, and hands-on experience, can improve FV preference among children.


      Texas Tech University.