Preschool Curriculum Research

In 2016 the Doctor Yum Project committed more formal research to determine whether the preschool nutrition curriculum was affecting preschool students eating habits and their parents’ attitudes about healthy eating in the home. Our research, directed by Dr. Nancy Zucker at Duke University entailed collecting a pre-and post curriculum survey (at the beginning of the school year and after 9 monthly lessons). In the first year parents were asked questions about eating in the home and these anonymous surveys from the beginning of the year were paired with end of the year surveys. After nine lessons parents showed significant difference in the understanding of the importance of cooking with kids and the importance of offering water in meals. The next year we asked teachers to complete surveys on each of their students and paired them with surveys after nine lessons. There were 390 surveys that were paired over the course of the school year. The questions asked were from the Fussiness and Enjoyment of Food Subscales of the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire. They were:

1. My student loves food.

2.My student is interested in food.

3.My student refuses to eat food at first.

4.My student enjoys tasting new foods.

5.My student enjoys a wide variety of foods.

6.My student looks forward to mealtimes.

7.My student enjoys eating.

8.My student enjoys tasting new foods that he/she hasn’t eaten before.

9.My student decides that she/he doesn’t like a food, even without tasting it.

ALL NINE of these questions showed a significant change from the beginning to the end of the year, demonstrating that the curriculum was making a difference in eating experiences in children. These findings were presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Meeting in Orlando and at the American Speech Language Hearing National Convention in Boston. 

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