This research will evaluate the influence of two low-cost approaches to serving meals in child care programs on children’s dietary intake. Specifically, a randomized crossover design experiment will be conducted to examine whether serving fruits and non-starchy vegetables in advance of other menu items at lunch may increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and moderate energy intake. Also, the study will determine whether pre-plating meals is a useful strategy for promoting fruit and vegetable consumption and moderating energy intake in comparison with family style meal service. If found to be effective in promoting healthier dietary intake, these food service approaches could have broad public health impact because of the relative ease with which each may be implemented.
Start Date: September 2008
ID #: 65070
Principal Investigator: Lisa Harnack, DrPH, MPH, RD
Co-Principal Investigator: Simone French, PhD
Organization: University of Minnesota
Funding Round: Round 3
Results from an Experimental Trial at a Head Start Center to Evaluate Two Meal Service Approaches to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake of Preschool Aged ChildrenThis study evaluated the effects of two meal service strategies on intake of fruits and vegetables of preschool children: 1) serving fruits and vegetables in advance of other menu items as part of traditional family style meal service; and 2) serving meals portioned and plated by providers. Researchers found that fruit consumption and intake of More