Tools and interventions for increasing children’s vegetable knowledge (VG16064)
What’s it all about?
This investment is identifying new ways of supplying vegetables to children, helping growers better serve the key consumer market of families with young kids.
As part of the work, researchers are developing best practice guidelines to increase vegetable knowledge, and a national online hub of vegetable educational sites and materials. The current dietary advice for children will also be updated, using evidence-based knowledge of flavour exposure and food preference development, to help vegetable acceptance. On top of that, vegetable education initiatives will be delivered in settings such as at daycare centres and early primary school facilities.
This five-year project is to deliver an integrated program of activities with the aim to increase children’s intake of vegetables by more than half a serve per day.
Known as VegKIT the project is designed to provide a collection of practical tools and resources, including best practice guidelines for designing and implementing initiatives, to increase children’s vegetable intake. It includes online resources, the Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance (VISA) to facilitate collaboration across sectors, and dietary advice for maternal, infant and early childhood years.
The project team are progressing in the following areas of activity.
- A national online register and VegKIT has been launched in time for when school starts in February 2020
- Best practice guidelines have been updated based on the latest scientific literature, translating this information into strategies for implementation by different stakeholders
- The Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance (VISA) is focusing on new vegetable initiatives and communications strategies. The alliance was established to capture a wide range of stakeholders including the horticulture industry, State and Commonwealth departments, nutrition and health agencies, research organisations, retailers, early learning and parenting organisations, and various non‐government organisations.
- Research into dietary advice for maternal, infant and early years continues using evidence-based learnings regarding flavour exposure and food preference development:
- A review of relevant literature and set of evidence knowledge-based statements have been identified for maternal health.
- A series of vegetable-containing food concepts were tested and evaluated in focus groups, with the results to be used for the development of prototypes.
- Primary School canteen menu analysis was undertaken with options to increase vegetable offerings identified. Opportunities will be discussed further with supply chain partners.
Access VegKIT’s free resources for educators, health professionals and research agencies with the aim to increase children’s vegetable intake.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund