A school gardening and healthy snack program increased Aboriginal First Nations children's preferences toward vegetables and fruit.


OBJECTIVE: The researchers evaluated the impact of a 7-month gardening and 4-month vegetable and fruit snack program on Aboriginal First Nations children's home consumption and preferences toward vegetables and fruit. METHODS: The intervention was based on the Social Cognitive Theory. Children in grades 1-6 planted and tended classroom container gardens and prepared and ate what grew. At baseline and 7 months later, children tasted and rated 17 vegetables and fruit using a Likert scale and indicated whether they ate each food at home. RESULTS: Data were collected from 76 of 116 children (65.5%). Preference scores for vegetables, fruit, and vegetables and fruit combined increased over the 7 months (P < .017). Self-reported home consumption did not change. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: School interventions have the potential to increase children's preferences for vegetables and fruit. Family participation is likely required, along with increased community availability of produce, to promote home consumption.

First Nations