Master of Science (MS)
This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of a fruit and vegetable (FV) tasting program on third and fifth grade children’s preferences and psychosocial factors associated with FV intake. Four public schools in southeastern Louisiana participated. Two schools served as the intervention group where children were given a taste of four fruits or four vegetables on a rotating schedule for eight weeks followed by two weeks of tasting four months post- intervention (follow-up). Two control schools did not participate in tasting but received brightly colored FV posters which were posted in the cafeteria each week. A questionnaire administered at baseline, post-intervention, and after follow-up tastings assessed 38 FV preferences, self-efficacy, social norms, and outcome expectations for FV consumption. 161 children (52% third graders) who tasted fruit at least eight times and vegetables at least 20 times during the 8-week tasting program were included in the analysis. Significant differences were observed between the intervention and control groups toward preferences for less common (p=0.03) and common fruits (p=0.02). In the intervention group, preference for less common fruits such as apricots, avocados, cantaloupe, kiwi, mangos and papaya increased from baseline to post-intervention (p=0.04) and from baseline to follow-up (p=0.01). Children demonstrated greater self-efficacy to consume FV from baseline to follow-up (p=0.01) in the intervention group but no changes were observed in the control group. These findings suggest that a FV tasting program positively impacts fruit preferences and self-efficacy to consume FV.
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Wong, Wei-Ping, "A cafeteria-based tasting program improved elementary school children's fruit preferences and self-efficacy to consume fruits and vegetables" (2011). LSU Master's Theses. 2213.