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P69 Adapting a Nutrition Education Program Targeting School-Age Children from In-Person to Virtual During COVID-19

      Background

      School-based nutrition education and gardening programs are found to positively affect nutrition knowledge and healthy eating behaviors in children. Due to the limit on in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative technology approaches for continued nutrition and garden education efforts was imperative.

      Objective

      Therefore, the purpose of this research study was to examine the effect of a virtual nutrition education and gardening program on the identification, intake and likability of fruits and vegetables. Study Design, Setting,

      Participants

      This was a quasi-experimental study. A total of 14 students (7 Latinx and 7 Non-Latinx White) ages 7-12 years old participated in an all virtual, 6-week summer nutrition education and gardening course.

      Measurable Outcomes/Analysis

      At baseline and at the end of the 6-week class, participants completed questionnaires to measure their food identification, intake and likeability. Paired samples t tests were run to examine differences in their pre- and post test scores.

      Results

      Students improved their overall test scores from the pre- to post test by 7% (P = 0.04). There was no difference in scores for Latinx and Non-Latinx students. On a 0-1 scale, identification (0.06), intake (0.05) and likability (0.10) scores each increased from pre- to post test although not significantly.

      Conclusion

      COVID-19, has limited the ability for children to be exposed to in-person nutrition education programs they may receive in schools. An effective use of technology to disseminate nutrition and gardening education to school-aged children can lead to positive nutrition outcomes.
      Funding None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data