An evaluation of primary school children’s involvement in food related activities compared
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background – Questionnaires were used to gather information about the involvement of UK primary school children aged 5-11 in food related activities, and parental attitudes towards their participation. Methods – To explore the level of engagement that children have in food related activities such as; food shopping, preparation and portioning compared with the attitudes of their parents towards their involvement in these activities. A cross sectional study based on selfadministered questionnaires from 44 parents of primary school children aged 5-11. Results – The majority of children attended shopping trips and participated in food preparation. Children whose parents had a higher attitude score had greater involvement in food related activities such as food shopping, food preparation (including a higher variety of food preparation activities) and a greater freedom to choose options at meal times. Similarly age was found to be statistically significant when compared with total involvement. Older children (9-11) were more involved. The majority of participants (68%) strongly disagreed/disagreed that their child/children was not interested in participating in these activities. However time and age were identified as barriers to parents, preventing them from encouraging their children to participate more. Conclusions – Parental attitudes towards children’s participation in food related activities that were perceived to be good, positively corresponded with greater child engagement. Time and age on the other hand were the main barriers discouraging participants from involving their children in food preparation.
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