Parental and familial influence are key to increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption

Results from recent research support the positive role of parents and the family setting in motivating children’s daily intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V). Key motivators include verbal encouragement, allowing children to eat as much F&V as they want, being a role model and having a family routine of eating F&V together. 

The study, which involved over 3,000 European children, aimed to investigate the association between family-environmental factors and children’s F&V intake and whether these associations differ between countries with different school lunch policies i.e. those that provide a free lunch with vegetables and those who do not.

Results revealed positive associations between nearly all clustered family-environmental factors and daily F&V intake and the associations were found to be stronger for vegetable intakes in countries providing no free school lunches, suggesting that parental involvement is crucial when schools offer no vegetables. This is important to note here on the island of Ireland as there are very few school meals provided in ROI and around 50 per cent of children bring a lunchbox to school in NI.

Posted: 20/02/2013 15:52:18 by Emily Kelleher


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