Strochlic, R; Woodward-Lopez, G.; Hewawitharana, S.; Streng, K.; Richardson, J.; Whetstone, L.; Gorshow, D.
BACKGROUND Most children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables (FV). Schools are a critical setting for supporting children to consume FV. To fill a gap in available materials, a classroom curriculum was developed and evaluated to determine impacts on student FV-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. METHODS A pre-/post-intervention survey was administered to 4th-6th grade students in 3 intervention and one comparison schools. Post-intervention student focus groups, parent/guardian surveys, and teacher surveys provided complementary information. RESULTS Intervention students had a significantly greater increase in total FV intake, fruit intake, and 100% juice consumption, and preference for several types of FV relative to comparison group students. Students, teachers, and parents reported overall high levels of satisfaction with the curriculum. CONCLUSIONS The Harvest of the Month curriculum is effective at increasing fruit intake among a low-income, diverse student population in grades 4-6, is acceptable to students, teachers, and parents, and is feasible to implement. Findings suggest this impact is the result of changes in preferences, skills, and motivation but not self-efficacy or perceived social norms. Some tailoring of the curriculum may be needed to increase its appropriateness for 6th-grade students, increase the impact on vegetable intake, and limit intake of juice.