IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1355: Eating Healthy, Growing Healthy: Impact of a Multi-Strategy Nutrition Education on the Assortments of Beverages Served in Preschools, Poland
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15071355
Day-care centers are the ideal place for conducting nutrition intervention to improve children&rsquo;s nutrition. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-strategy childcare-base intervention in improving compliance with nutrition guidelines regarding beverages supply in preschools. The intervention included the staff training, audit, feedback, and ongoing support provided by trained educators. The emphasis was put on adequate nutrition, including recommended beverages, reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing water availability. Enrolled were 478 full-board preschools from Poland (4.2% of all preschools in the country). The assortment of beverages served to children within ten consecutive days was assessed based on menus and inventory reports at the baseline, and three months after the intervention. Education increased significantly the percentage of preschools serving water to meals and between meals (67% vs. 83% and 93% vs. 99%, respectively), fruit/herbal tea (75% vs. 81%), and natural fruit juices (46% vs. 56%). The percentage of preschools offering fruit/soft drinks decreased from 23% to 15%. This study shows that education has a great potential in improving the assortment of beverages served in preschools. Future research is needed to determine barriers in better optimizing the assortment of beverages in preschool settings.