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

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


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.


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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