Classroom Nutrition Education Combined With Fruit and Vegetable Taste Testing Improves Children’s Dietary Intake.


Gold A; Larson M; Tucker J; Strang M


BACKGROUND: We tested the effectiveness of the Go Wild With Fruits and Veggies! (GWWFV) Extension curriculum on increasing fruit and vegetable (FV) intake of third graders. METHODS: An intervention study was used testing self-reported FV intake pre/post GWWFV. Recruited schools were randomized to control (12 schools, N = 369, third grade children) or intervention (14 schools, N = 378, third grade children). Measures included items from a validated FV food frequency survey. Access to the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program (FFVSP), and taste testing within GWWFV were also measured. Between-group differences in FV intake were evaluated using 1-way ANOVA for unadjusted models and 1-way ANCOVA for baseline adjusted models. The Tukey-Kramer test was employed for post hoc comparisons. RESULTS: Students with access to the FFVSP consumed more fruits (p < .01) and vegetables (p < .0001). Students who participated in the FFVSP and GWWFV with taste testing consumed more fruits and vegetables (p < .05) compared with students who participated in the FFVSP and GWWFV without taste testing, along with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: The FFVSP and GWWFV with taste testing demonstrated a positive influence on FV intake in third grade children. Leveraging environmental approaches with interactive learning experiences create desired outcomes.


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