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Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Nov; 115(11):1779-88.JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Eating habits are developed during the preschool years and track into adulthood, but few studies have quantified dietary quality of meals packed by parents for preschool children enrolled in early care and education centers.

OBJECTIVE

Our aim was to evaluate the dietary quality of preschoolers' sack lunches using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010 to provide parents of preschool children with guidance to increase the healthfulness of their child's lunch.

DESIGN

This study is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline dietary data from the Lunch Is in the Bag trial.

PARTICIPANTS

A total of 607 parent-child dyads from 30 early care and education centers in Central and South Texas were included.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Total and component scores of the HEI were computed using data obtained from direct observations of packed lunches and of children's consumption.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Three-level regression models with random intercepts at the early care and education center and child level were used; all models were adjusted for child sex, age, and body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)).

RESULTS

Mean HEI-2010 total scores were 58 for lunches packed and 52 for lunches consumed, out of 100 possible points. Mean HEI component scores for packed and consumed lunches were lowest for greens and beans (6% and 8% of possible points), total vegetables (33% and 28%), seafood and plant proteins (33% and 29%), and whole grains (38% and 34%); and highest for empty calories (85% and 68% of possible points), total fruit (80% and 70%), whole fruit (79% and 64%), and total protein foods (76% and 69%).

CONCLUSIONS

Parents of preschool children pack lunches with low dietary quality that lack vegetables, plant proteins, and whole grains, as measured by the HEI. Education of parents and care providers in early care and education centers is vital to ensure that preschoolers receive high dietary-quality meals that promote their preference for and knowledge of a healthy diet.

Authors

No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26190228

Citation

Romo-Palafox, Maria Jose, et al. "Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured By the Healthy Eating Index." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 115, no. 11, 2015, pp. 1779-88.
Romo-Palafox MJ, Ranjit N, Sweitzer SJ, et al. Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(11):1779-88.
Romo-Palafox, M. J., Ranjit, N., Sweitzer, S. J., Roberts-Gray, C., Hoelscher, D. M., Byrd-Williams, C. E., & Briley, M. E. (2015). Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(11), 1779-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2015.05.017
Romo-Palafox MJ, et al. Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured By the Healthy Eating Index. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(11):1779-88. PubMed PMID: 26190228.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Dietary Quality of Preschoolers' Sack Lunches as Measured by the Healthy Eating Index. AU - Romo-Palafox,Maria Jose, AU - Ranjit,Nalini, AU - Sweitzer,Sara J, AU - Roberts-Gray,Cindy, AU - Hoelscher,Deanna M, AU - Byrd-Williams,Courtney E, AU - Briley,Margaret E, Y1 - 2015/07/17/ PY - 2015/03/02/received PY - 2015/05/20/accepted PY - 2015/7/21/entrez PY - 2015/7/21/pubmed PY - 2016/2/5/medline KW - Early care and education KW - Healthy Eating Index (HEI) KW - Parents KW - Preschool children KW - Sack lunch SP - 1779 EP - 88 JF - Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics JO - J Acad Nutr Diet VL - 115 IS - 11 N2 - BACKGROUND: Eating habits are developed during the preschool years and track into adulthood, but few studies have quantified dietary quality of meals packed by parents for preschool children enrolled in early care and education centers. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the dietary quality of preschoolers' sack lunches using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010 to provide parents of preschool children with guidance to increase the healthfulness of their child's lunch. DESIGN: This study is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline dietary data from the Lunch Is in the Bag trial. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 607 parent-child dyads from 30 early care and education centers in Central and South Texas were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total and component scores of the HEI were computed using data obtained from direct observations of packed lunches and of children's consumption. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Three-level regression models with random intercepts at the early care and education center and child level were used; all models were adjusted for child sex, age, and body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)). RESULTS: Mean HEI-2010 total scores were 58 for lunches packed and 52 for lunches consumed, out of 100 possible points. Mean HEI component scores for packed and consumed lunches were lowest for greens and beans (6% and 8% of possible points), total vegetables (33% and 28%), seafood and plant proteins (33% and 29%), and whole grains (38% and 34%); and highest for empty calories (85% and 68% of possible points), total fruit (80% and 70%), whole fruit (79% and 64%), and total protein foods (76% and 69%). CONCLUSIONS: Parents of preschool children pack lunches with low dietary quality that lack vegetables, plant proteins, and whole grains, as measured by the HEI. Education of parents and care providers in early care and education centers is vital to ensure that preschoolers receive high dietary-quality meals that promote their preference for and knowledge of a healthy diet. SN - 2212-2672 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26190228/Dietary_Quality_of_Preschoolers'_Sack_Lunches_as_Measured_by_the_Healthy_Eating_Index_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2212-2672(15)00648-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -