Nutrition education program evaluation

About the project

 

This project is an evaluation study about two existing Dutch school-based nutrition education programs: 1) EU-Schoolfruit and 2) Taste Lessons, whereby the effectiveness of the programs is measured on primary school children’s nutrition knowledge and fruit and vegetable intake.

Taste Lessons, developed in 2006, is another Dutch national school-based nutrition education program for primary schools. This program consists of five lessons for each grade, discussing various topics in relation to five themes: ‘taste’, ‘nutrition and health’, ‘cooking’, ‘food production’ and ‘consumer skills’. Each lesson consists of several activities including experiments, cooking and tasting. Teachers can implement Taste Lessons during the whole school year. Every year, approximately 1500 Dutch primary schools implement the Taste Lessons program.

EU-Schoolfruit, provides participating primary schools with fruits and vegetables for a period of 20 weeks to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. This program is developed in 2009 and financed by the European Union. Every year, around 3000 Dutch primary schools, out of a total approximate amount of 7000, participate in this program.

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What was measured and how?

In this evaluation study, children’s nutrition knowledge and fruit and vegetable consumption were measured, via a questionnaire. A quasi-experimental design was used, including three different groups: 1) schools that implemented both programs, 2) school that implemented only EU-Schoolfruit and 3) schools that did not participate in any program (control group). This project included three measurements: pre-intervention (baseline), during the intervention and post-intervention. In total 37 schools were included (69 classes and 1460 children) throughout the Netherlands.

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What are the results?

EU-Schoolfruit combined with Taste Lessons is effective in increasing nutrition knowledge, but not in child FV intake. However, EU-Schoolfruit may contribute to an increase in FV consumption in children on schools without an active FV policy (e.g., FV as snack during the morning break only). Further, both programs were found to contribute to an increase in FV intake in children who are less supported to eat FV in the home environment (e.g., children who receive less often FV from their caregivers to take to school).

Interested in more details?

Please see our two published articles on this evaluation study:
 

Contact

For more information about the project, feel free to contact Angeliek Verdonschot by sending an email to: angeliek.verdonschot@wur.nl

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