(1999). Increasing nutrition knowledge in preschool children: The Healthy Start project.
Catherine D’Agostino, Tara D’Andrea, Susan Talbot Nix, and Christine L. Williams
Abstract:The first year effectiveness of a new comprehensive nutrition education program for preschool children, Healthy Start, was assessed using a project-developed, multiple choice picture identification test, the Knowledge Quiz. Eight hundred fourteen children in nine Head Start centers in three counties in New York State participated in the study. The two experimental groups (A and B) received either (1) the meal and snack food intervention (FI) and the nutrition curriculum (NUT), or (2) the FI and a control curriculum; the control (C) received the standard Head Start food menu and the control curriculum. A quasi-experimental pre/posttest research design was employed with the appropriate pretest and two contrast-coded variables entered as the predictor variables into separate regression analyses for the nutrition and overall assessments. The results showed that Groups A and B scored higher on average, adjusting for pretest variation, than Group C on both nutrition (p<.002) and overall (p<.001) measures; and that children in Group A improved more on the nutrition posttest than those in Group B (p<.007). Results indicate that the Healthy Start program can be used to increase nutrition and overall health-related knowledge in young children and can be employed as a tool to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Journal of Health Education – July/August 1999, Volume 30, No. 4