Development of a Vegetable Education Kit
Children’s consumption of vegetables is below the daily recommendations in Australia and in many countries worldwide. As many nutrition intervention approaches have been found to be ineffective, new approaches are needed. Low acceptance of vegetables is a critical barrier in children’s consumption. As most food preferences are learned, increasing enjoyment of vegetables is a sustainable way to increase demand, and schools provide a good setting for development of a new education intervention program. The aim of the current project was to develop a Vegetable Education Resource for use by teachers in Australian schools, to scientifically investigate its effectiveness, to seek teacher input, and to develop a technical implementation plan. The Vegetable Education Resource needed to meet two main objectives: 1) to be effective in achieving change amongst children, in the sense that students become more aware of vegetables, learn to enjoy them, and are more willing to taste them when they are offered them. These factors have been shown to be positively associated with vegetable consumption. Seen in this way, the resource is a behavioural intervention; 2) to align to the Australian curriculum, and be in a form that teachers can use in their classroom. This second objective was important to ensure that teachers are willing to use the resource, as classroom time is limited and the curriculum is already very crowded.