Watch me grow: a garden-based pilot intervention to increase vegetable and fruit intake in preschoolers.

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2013-04-18

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Americans, including children, consume fewer fruit and vegetable servings than is recommended. Given that young children spend large amounts of time in child care centers, this may be an ideal venue for increasing consumption of and enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables. This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility of a gardening intervention to promote vegetable and fruit intake among preschoolers. METHODS: We enrolled two intervention centers and two control centers. The intervention included a fruit and vegetable garden, monthly curriculum, gardening support, and technical assistance. We measured mean (SD) servings of fruits and vegetables served to and consumed by three children per center before and after the intervention. RESULTS: Post intervention, intervention and control centers served fewer vegetables (mean (standard deviation) difference of -0.18 (0.63) in intervention, -0.37 (0.36) in control), but intervention children consumed more than control children (+0.25 (1.11) vs. -0.18 (0.52). The number of fruits served decreased in all centers (intervention -0.62 (0.58) vs. control -0.10 (0.52)) but consumption was higher in controls (intervention -0.32 (0.58) vs. control 0.15 (0.26)). CONCLUSIONS: The garden-based feasibility study shows promise, but additional testing is needed to assess its ability to increase vegetable and fruit intake in children.

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10.1186/1471-2458-13-363

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Namenek Brouwer, Rebecca J, and Sara E Benjamin Neelon (2013). Watch me grow: a garden-based pilot intervention to increase vegetable and fruit intake in preschoolers. BMC Public Health, 13. p. 363. 10.1186/1471-2458-13-363 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11439.

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Rebecca Brouwer

Assist VP, Research & Innovation

My overarching goal is to facilitate effective research and collaborations for the Duke research community, through the delivery of targeted programs, tools, and individual consultations.


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