Evaluation of the Cancer Council NSW Eat It To Beat It Healthy Lunch Box Sessions

a short intervention to promote the intake of fruit and vegetables among families of primary school children in NSW Australia

Seema Mihrshahi*, Bridget Foley, Binh Nguyen M. Nut Diet, Kristi Gander, Nina Tan, Nayerra Hudson, Clare Hughes, Debra Hector, Adrian Bauman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Issue addressed: Children and adults in Australia are not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a health promotion intervention to improve fruit and vegetable intake among primary school children and their families in NSW. Methods: The Cancer Council New South Wales Healthy Lunch Box sessions were a 25-minute session delivered to parents of primary school-aged children. The sessions provided information and resources about fruit and vegetables and healthy school lunch boxes. The evaluation is a quantitative uncontrolled pre-post design. Data were collected using three questionnaires, pre-intervention, 1 week post-intervention and 6 months post-intervention. Results: A total of 204 parents completed all three evaluation questionnaires to 6 months. Knowledge of recommended intakes and serving sizes of fruit and vegetables improved significantly after the intervention. There was an increase in parents reporting packing vegetables (often/always) in the child's lunch box at 1 week (47%) and 6 months post-intervention (40%) compared to pre-intervention (32%). The proportion of parents reporting that they were confident in packing a healthy lunch box increased from 45% pre-intervention to 62% after the intervention. Conclusion: The Healthy Lunch Box sessions were effective in improving parental knowledge and practices related to fruit and vegetables and parental confidence with packing a healthy lunch box. So what?: This short intervention could be a useful component of a portfolio of interventions to support parents with knowledge and resources to pack a healthy lunch box for their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • evaluation
  • fruit
  • healthy eating
  • interventions
  • lunch box
  • parents
  • vegetables

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