Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nutrition

Major Professor

Hollie A. Raynor

Committee Members

Michael B. Zemel, Melissa B. Hansen-Petrik

Abstract

Background: Fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake in preschool-aged children remains below recommendations. As the environment can affect food consumption, this study tested the effects of two environmental factors, dietary variety and course sequence, on fruit and overall intake of a snack in preschool-aged children. Methods: Using a 2 x 2 x 2 design (between-subjects factor of order and the within-subjects factors of dietary variety and courses), 16 children (4.1 + 0.7 years of age, 56.3% female, 75.0% White, 93.8% non-Hispanic or Latino, and 0.5 + 1.3 BMI z-score) from 2 preschool classrooms (classroom 1 [n = 7] and classroom 2 [n = 9]) completed 20 minute snack sessions on Wednesday afternoons over four occasions. All snacks were 200g and included 50g of applesauce, 50g of peaches, and 100g of cheese (variety) or 100g of applesauce, and 100g of cheese (no-variety), served over one 20-minute course (one-course) or one, 10-minute fruit course and one 10-minute cheese course (two-course). Results: Repeated measures analyses of covariance found no significant main effects or interactions of fruit or overall snack intake. Conclusion: Variety and course sequence may not be an effective strategy to increase low-energy dense foods, like F&Vs, during snacks in preschool-aged children.

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