Nutrition Knowledge of Preschool Children Living in Transitional Housing or Stable Housing and the Nutrition Messages of their Mothers


DESIGN: Validated questionnaires3 3 Questionnaires were used to assess the early nutrition knowledge of preschool children and the parental nutrition knowledge and messages about foods and nutrition. SETTING/SUBJECTS:The study was conducted in a University preschool and a subsidized day care center. Twenty-two preschool children and their mothers completed the study. INTERVENTION:Open-ended questions were asked to each mother to derive the messages they give about food and nutrition. An objective test was given to the mothers to evaluate their nutrition knowledge. A questionnaire, developed specifically for age and developmental level, was given to each child to assess their nutrition knowledge. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:Various statistical tests were used to analyze data; frequency and correlation analysis. Independent T-tests, Pearson's Correlation, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance. The SPSS computer program with the University of Memphis Administrative Statistical Services was used for data analysis. RESULTS:There were differences in the nutrition knowledge of the children between the two groups. Likewise, differences were found in the mother's nutrition knowledge in both groups. Nutrition knowledge of mothers was significantly related to the nutrition knowledge of their children. Data suggests differences in the relationship of nutrition messages of mothers and the nutrition knowledge of their children between the two groups. APPLICATION:Nutrition education should be targeted to mothers of preschool children, especially those living in transitional housing. More work is needed to examine the difference in nutrition messages of parents living in transitional housing and of parents living in stable housing. © 1995 American Dietetic Association.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Dietetic Association