|McCabe Sellers, Beverly|
|Strickland, Earline - DELTA NIRI|
Submitted to: Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 29, 2008
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: School Kids Access to Treats to Eat (SKATE) was a fruit and vegetable snack feeding study that assessed food recognition, food experience, and willingness to try specific fruits and vegetables of 186 elementary school children in grades 4-6 at high risk for obesity. This rural school had a 100% free breakfast and lunch program, averaging 95% daily participation. Fruit and vegetable snacks were offered as an integral part of the school day and were available to all consented, assented children. Study participation was over 84%. A food recognition and experience checklist was used at baseline and at week 9 to assess changes in a pilot fruit and vegetable snack program that offered pre-weighed gram portions and post-weighed refuse of 13 fruits and 5 vegetables snacks. Willingness to try new foods was measured by interviews using flash cards of specific foods. Teachers served as role models by consuming snacks with their classes and by incorporating food facts sheets into lesson plans. Children who initially recognized the foods were more willing to try and also consumed higher percentages of the snacks. While the majority reported being willing to try the snacks, even more actually tried the snacks, demonstrating fruit and vegetable snacks as a feasible approach to promote healthier food choices among children at high risk for obesity.