Family involvement in preschool children’s health
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Childhood obesity is recognized as a national and international health problem. Childhood obesity rates have substantially increased over the past several decades in the United States. Unhealthy eating habits are directly related to childhood obesity, and most children develop eating habits in preschool years. About 75% of preschool-aged children consume fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended for health. The purpose of this study was to create a family backpack and to assess its effectiveness in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in preschool-aged children and their parents. Forty-two families participated in this family backpack pilot study. (Twenty-two families were in the experimental group and twenty families were in the control group.) Children’s and parents’ fruit and vegetable consumption and fruit and vegetable availability at home were evaluated with the use of pre-and post-surveys. The results indicated increases in preschoolers’ and parents’ fruit and vegetable consumption in the experimental group but not the control group after they used the family backpacks. A family backpack focused on fruits and vegetables can be a useful tool to reinforce preschoolers’ healthy eating habits at home and increase their fruit and vegetable consumption.