Association of parental investment of time and cost in food provisioning with adherence to dietary guidelines for the consumption of fruits, vegetables and non-core foods in pre-schoolers.Public Health Nutr. 2018 09; 21(13):2434-2442.PH
To assess whether parent-reported time and cost for provision of food is associated with consumption of fruits, vegetables and non-core foods in pre-schoolers.
Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Healthy Habits randomised controlled trial. Two subscales of the Children's Dietary Questionnaire (CDQ) were used to assess fruit and vegetable, and non-core food consumption.
Thirty pre-schools in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia.
Parents (n 396) with a child aged 3-5 years attending a participating pre-school were recruited. Parents needed to reside with that child for at least four days per week and have primary responsibility for providing meals and snacks to their child.
Sixty-three per cent of children had a parent-reported subscale score indicating adherence to dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake, while 64% of children had a subscale score indicating they were exceeding dietary guidelines for non-core foods. Regression models revealed significant positive associations between higher CDQ scores for non-core foods (indicating higher consumption levels) and minutes that parents spent preparing food (P=0·032 and 0·025) and amount spent on purchasing food (P=0·043 and 0·020). The magnitude of the effects was small (estimate=0·003 and 0·001).
Time and cost spent by parents on provision of food was not significantly associated with child fruit and vegetable consumption. Further explorations into time spent on food preparation and cost of food procurement are warranted to help address the increased consumption of non-core foods by pre-school children.