Development of a Meal Creation Tool to Assess Knowledge and Preference among Preschool Children
Lisson, Sarah E.
Knowledge and preference towards healthful foods can help researchers better understand developing health behaviors; however, few validated tools are available to evaluate these constructs among young children. The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot-test a Pictorial Meal Creation Tool (PMCT) to assess preschool children’s knowledge of and preference towards healthy foods/beverages commonly served during snack and mealtime. Researchers developed and cognitively evaluated 32 high-quality photographs of foods/beverages. The final PMCT featured 20 photographs of foods presented to children in five groups (four photographs/group): snack, main entrée, fruit/vegetable side dish, dairy/grain side dish, and beverage. The PMCT was administered to 32 children in three early childcare centers on two separate sessions: (1) knowledge was assessed by asking children to select a “healthy” snack, meal (entrée, two side dishes), and beverage for a proxy teddy bear; (2) preference was assessed by asking children to select a “preferred” snack, meal, and beverage for themselves. Data were analyzed using Spearman’s Rho and Wilcoxin signed-rank tests. Foods were ranked from least healthy (1) to most healthy (4). No significant differences between the selected “healthy” and “preferred” snacks (H=2.50±1.38; P=2.00±1.08), meals (H=2.31±.65; P=2.14±.48), or beverages (H=2.20±1.19; P=1.87±.97) were observed; however, children’s “healthy” selections ranked higher on average. Photographs are a promising way to assess knowledge/preference among preschool children. The application of PMCT to assess children’s food preferences is promising; however, further research is needed to determine the efficacy of these methods to assess knowledge. Further validation research in a larger sample is warranted.
Lisson, Sarah E.. (April 2016). Development of a Meal Creation Tool to Assess Knowledge and Preference among Preschool Children (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5630.)
Lisson, Sarah E.. Development of a Meal Creation Tool to Assess Knowledge and Preference among Preschool Children. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, April 2016. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5630. September 30, 2023.
Lisson, Sarah E., “Development of a Meal Creation Tool to Assess Knowledge and Preference among Preschool Children” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, April 2016).
Lisson, Sarah E.. Development of a Meal Creation Tool to Assess Knowledge and Preference among Preschool Children [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2016.
East Carolina University