Objective: To increase nutrition knowledge, fruit and vegetable preference, eating and cooking self-efficacy among 3rd- to 5th-grade students after a 6-week school-based nutrition education intervention. Design: Quasi-experimental pre–post design. Setting: Title I elementary schools, South Plains, West Texas. Method: A nutrition education curriculum informed by social cognitive theory was developed and implemented in four Title I elementary schools. A total of 115 children from 3rd to 5th grade (age range: 8–11 years) participated and completed both baseline and post-intervention surveys. The intervention included class-based nutrition education for 25 minutes, and a cooking and tasting session for 20 minutes each week. Nutrition handouts on fruit and vegetable were sent to parents. Face-to-face survey questionnaires were administered on nutrition knowledge, fruit and vegetable preference, fruit and vegetable eating and cooking self-efficacy during pre- and post-surveys. Changes in mean score of nutrition knowledge, fruit and vegetable preference, fruit and vegetable eating and cooking self-efficacy were analysed using paired t-tests. Results: Participants showed significant improvements in nutrition knowledge, fruit and vegetable preference, eating and cooking self-efficacy after the intervention. Conclusion: Study results suggest that a brief 6-week multi-component and school-based nutrition education intervention had the potential to engage students and create health-promoting behaviours.
- nutrition education