Fruit and Vegetable Preferences and Identification by Kindergarteners through 2nd-Graders With or Without the US Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Natalie Masis, Susan L. Johnson, Jennifer McCaffrey, Karen Chapman-Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective The US Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) allows schools to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) exposure by distributing FV as snacks. The objective of this study was to compare kindergarten through second (K-2nd)-graders who were exposed or not to FFVP for preferences and identification. Design, Setting, Participants The FV Preference Survey for K-2nd-graders contained 12 fruits and 12 vegetables, a 3-Likert scale (liked it, okay, don't like it), and an I don't know option. Data were collected from K-2nd-graders at 2 elementary schools near Chicago, IL (n = 435, FFVP school, n = 235 with 12 teachers; non-FFVP school, n = 200 with 10 teachers). Main Outcome Measure(s) Mean preference scores. Analysis Chi-square, Mann-Whitney U, and multiple linear regression analyses compared school data (P <.05). Results There were significant differences in mean preference scores, with higher fruit scores at the FFVP school (1.8 ± 0.6) than at the non-FFVP school (1.7 ± 0.6). In contrast, there was a higher vegetable score for the non-FFVP school (1.3 ± 0.9) than for the FFVP school (1.2 ± 0.9). The school variable had weak impact on fruit ranking (multivariate coefficient = 0.01; P <.05). For fruits and vegetables and combined, there were fewer I don't know responses in the FFVP (χ2 = 149.080; P <.01). Conclusions and Implications At the FFVP school, fewer I don't know responses suggested better FV identification. Non-FFVP students had higher vegetable preferences than did FFVP students. Tasting a variety of FV may help with identifying FV, but more research is needed to determine the impact on preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-758.e1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • child
  • fruits
  • preferences
  • school
  • survey
  • vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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