Background Diets high in fruits and vegetables (FV) may decrease the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases as well as provide important nutrients needed for periods of rapid development; however, many preschool age children in the US are not meeting recommended intakes for FV.
Objective A primary goal of Farm to Preschool (F2PS) programs is to increase FV consumption in early childhood when food preferences are being formed. The purpose of this study was to assess F2PS participation, interest in, and barriers to F2PS among preschool facilities in the state of Georgia.
Design This was an online survey of all preschool facilities licensed and monitored by Bright From the Start Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). A link to the online survey was emailed to the contact email provided by for DECAL for each facility. Multiple follow ups were made.
Main Outcome Measures Outcomes included prevalences of previously conducted F2PS activities, challenges with activities, locally produced foods served in facilities, and interest in adding or expanding F2PS activities.
Statistical Analyses Performed Descriptive statistics were generated for frequencies, means, proportions, and standard deviations.
Results 969 facilities participated in the survey. The distribution of respondents was similar to the distribution of facilities in the target population by county and facility type. 94.2% of facilities reported conducting some type of F2PS activity within the past year, with educating children about food and nutrition being the top reported activity. Cost was the most prevalent challenge (46.8% of facilities). 86.8% of facilities reported purchasing and serving some type of locally produced food. Facilities were most interested in educating children about food, nutrition, or where food comes from (73.9%).
Conclusions Many preschool facilities in Georgia were involved in and interested in F2PS activities. However, many actions are needed to expand F2PS, with funding being of most concern. Other actions include networking events, lists of available F2PS curricula, trainings, lists of local farmers, chefs, F2PS experts, and increased connections with available resources within and outside of communities in which facilities are located.
Table of Contents
Previous Interventions to Increase FV
Consumption among Preschool Age Children...5
Farm to Preschool as a Strategy to Increase FV Consumption among Preschool Age Children...17
Materials and Methods...21
Discussion, conclusion, and recommendations...32
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|Results from the 2013 Georgia Farm to Preschool Survey ()||2018-08-28||