Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Technology Can Increase Fruit & Veggie Consumption?

TheBUZZ: Technology can increase fruit & veggie consumption?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Using internet-based nutrition education programs is more effective at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption than more traditional nutrition education methods.

WHAT WE KNOW

Only 2% of children meet BOTH their daily fruit and vegetable recommendation—isn’t that a scary statistic? Plus, add this to children’s decreased level of activity and we’ve found some of the attributing factors to the childhood obesity epidemic! For years parents, educators, and health professionals have tried different measures to get their kids to eat MORE fruits and veggies.

So why not utilize technology to get our kids to eat more healthfully? Increased internet usage during the past decade has opened the door for a variety of ways to address public health issues, including fruit and vegetable consumption. The Internet and interactive games may prove to be novel campaign strategies.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association compared fruit and vegetable consumption of families involved in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program who were given traditional nutrition education methods or internet-based methods. The study found that 96.7% of the internet-based intervention group progressed from the earlier stages of change to the action stage, compared to only 60.9% of the traditional methods group by the end of the 9-month program. The internet group also showed a significant increase in vegetable (0.6 cups) and fruit juice (0.54 cups) consumption compared to the traditional nutrition education group.*

Since this is a newer method of education, more studies need to be done to see the effect of internet-based learning.

OUR ADVICE

Getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables can be a struggle! However, our website has many ways to assist parents/guardians in helping their kids learn to enjoy fruits and veggies!

As for getting your child to eat more fruits and veggies in general, here are some great ideas …

  1. A child may need to taste a food several times before s/he learns to like it. Encourage kids to taste a new fruit or vegetable by telling them that maybe their taste buds have “grown” since they last tried it.
  2. Add fruits and vegetables to the dishes your kids already love.
  3. Take your kids with you on your next trip to the grocery store.
  4. Prepare vegetables in various ways. Remember spaghetti and pizza sauce all matter!
  5. Get your kids involved in the growing, preparation or cooking process.
  6. Check out our Kid’s Gardening section for easy do-it-yourself projects for the whole family!
  7. Be a role model! If your kids see you making healthy choices and accept this as the norm, they’ll be more inclined to try them too!
  8. Our kid-friendly recipes will stir up some fun while teaching your children science, math, culture, and healthy eating habits.
  9. Visit our Kids’ Website. After all, what better way to learn about nutrition than through fun activities and games!

Most importantly, be patient … and set an example! In time, your kids will learn to enjoy more of the nutritious foods that you prepare for them!

 

*Bensley, R., J. Anderson, J. Brush, et al. “Impact of Internet vs Traditional Special Supplementation Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Education on Fruit and Vegetable Intake.” Journal of American Dietetic Association (2011); 11(5); 749-55.

 

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