Evaluation of a Theory-Based Farm to School Pilot Intervention

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Publication Date

Fall 9-1-2017


Nutrition and Food Systems


Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate behaviors related to fruit and vegetable intake before and after implementation of a theory-based Farm to School pilot intervention in a rural school.

Methods: Students in fifth grade at a rural elementary school were asked to complete pre- and post-test measures based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). A pilot Farm to School intervention was implemented and activities targeted students' beliefs, social norms, and self-efficacy regarding fruit and vegetables. Cafeteria promotions, taste testing, and class materials were included in the intervention. Wilcoxon signed ranks test was conducted to test for differences over time, and Kendall's tau correlation assessed relationships between reported access to fruits and vegetables at home and reported intakes of fruits and vegetables as well as preferences.

Results: Demographics of the participants were representative of the school (48% female and 69% white) and entire district (50% female and 75% white). A total of 124 students participated, and significant differences were found between pre-and post-test means for students' beliefs scores (z=2183; p=0.029). Significant correlations were found between reported intakes of fruits and vegetables and access to fruits and vegetables at post-test (τ=0.253; p=0.001) as well as between social norms and access (τ=.194, p=0.011).

Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Findings demonstrated potential for effective implementation of a theory-driven, school-based intervention in elementary school students to increase awareness of the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption in fifth graders at one school site.

Publication Title

Journal of Child Nutrition & Management





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