College

College of Health Professions

Date of Last Revision

2021-04-25 18:47:11

Major

Nutrition/Dietetics

Honors Course

7760-499-002

Number of Credits

2

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021

Abstract

Background:

Thrive is an after-school program for urban low-income school-aged children that utilizes elements of the Coordinated Approach to Child Health evidence-based model to teach nutrition concepts.1 Unique to Thrive’s design is providing exposure to new fruits and vegetables through a weekly healthy treat made with fresh produce. This descriptive research investigated whether differences existed in fruit- and vegetable-related behavior between Thrive and non-Thrive groups.

Methods:

A caregiver questionnaire was administered at childcare sites with and without Thrive programs, asking caregivers to categorize fruit and vegetable requests at the store and during meals and snacks, along with fruit and vegetable consumption. Fifty-three caregivers completed the survey.

Results:

A greater percentage of children who were not participating in Thrive requested to buy fruits (79% vs 44%) and vegetables (46% vs 20%) at the store. For requests made at home, more children in Thrive requested produce daily during meals and snacks (40% vs 18% fruit, 16% vs 7% vegetables). Still, 40% of Thrive participants never requested vegetables at home. The types of foods children asked for varied, with Thrive participants requesting celery and onions (two vegetables included in lessons) more frequently than non-Thrive children (12% vs 8% celery, 12% vs 0% onion).

Conclusion:

This data suggests that the Thrive program may influence behavior, especially regarding daily fruit and vegetable requests by children enrolled. Thrive could improve by including strategies to teach self-efficacy with asking for fresh foods at the grocery store and requesting specific foods introduced in the program.

Research Sponsor

Christin Seher

First Reader

Kristen DeBois

Second Reader

Pei-Yang Liu

Honors Faculty Advisor

Christin Seher

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