Involvement in Meal Preparation at Home Is Associated With Better Diet Quality Among Canadian Children

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the associations between home meal preparation involvement with diet quality and food group intake among children.

Methods:

Grade 5 children aged 10–11 years (n = 3,398) were surveyed. Food intake was measured using the Harvard Youth/Adolescent Food Frequency Questionnaire, and diet quality was measured using the Diet Quality Index–International. Random effects regression models with children nested within schools were used to test for associations.

Results:

Higher frequency of involvement in home meal preparation was associated with higher Diet Quality Index–International scores. Children who were involved in meal preparation daily ate 1 more serving/d of vegetables and fruit compared with children who never helped (P < .001). Similar significant differences, although small, were observed for intake of the other food groups.

Conclusions and Implications:

Children who were more involved in home meal preparation also consumed healthier diets. Encouraging parents to involve their children in meal preparation could be a viable health promotion strategy.

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