Poster Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 164

E12-02 - Colorful Senses at Play-the MassFarmFresh Way: A Novel Intervention Engaging Preschool Children’s Exploration of Vegetables During Circle-Time in Massachusetts Head Start

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Massachusetts Farm Fresh (MAFF) is a Head Start classroom circle-time based novel multisensory nutrition education intervention that exposes multiethnic preschool children to a diverse selection of vegetables grown in the New England region. Specifically, MAFF sought to explore if there were pre-post sensory intervention-responsive increases in children's intake of overall vegetables, and across four color categories: Red (beets and radishes); Orange (carrots); Green (beans, peas, and broccoli); and White (cauliflower and parsnips). Based on The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study findings (Fox et al., 2010) a higher baseline intake of green color vs. other color vegetables was hypothesized, with a predicted pre-post increase in all the introduced color categories.

Methods: Thephytochemical classification by Pennington and Fisher (2009) determined the color categories. Eight selected vegetables were matched by appearance and growth process to create pairs: green bean-sugar snap pea, broccoli-cauliflower, beet-radish, and carrot-parsnip. Aligned with the early learning domains of Head Start and guided by the Social Cognitive Theory, a circle-time sensory exploration curriculum (week1 baseline, weeks 2-5 sensory education; and week 6 follow-up), was designed to meet developmentally appropriate "play" guidelines. Each week, two farm animal puppets introduced the children (n:60) to the vegetable pairs by highlighting each vegetable's color, shape, flavor, texture, and growth process. Data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric statistics (SAS 20.0. p

Results: Total mean intake (g) increased pre-post (pre: 14.75+1.38 vs. post:17.83+2.05 g) (p= 0.06). Red and white color vegetables trended towards an increase (red, pre: 2.66+0.41g vs. red, post: 3.68+0.54g p=0.07 and white, pre:2.81+0.46g vs. white, post:3.93+0.62g; p=0.08), thus positively impacting intake from the flavonoid classes anthocyanin (red vegetables) and anthoxanthin (white vegetables), respectively.

Conclusions. These findings highlight the efficacy of multisensory interventions which successfully portray a colorful array of vegetables denoting a diverse micro and phytonutrient pattern, to positively impact young children from medically underserved communities.

Funding Source: This research project was supported with HATCH grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), MAS0093.

CoAuthors: Usha Lakshmanan, PhD – Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Nalini Ranjit, PhD – University of Texas, Austin; Andrea Lasischak, MS, RD, CDE – University of Michigan; Arielle Magro, MS – New York Public Library; Leslie Freels-Lloyd, Rh.D. – Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (where work was completed) and Lloyd Vocational Consulting Service ; Suzanne Severin, B.S. RD – Community Action Agency; SRIMATHI KANNAN, Ph.D – Southern Illinois University and University of Massachusetts (where this work was completed)

Harish B. Ganguri

Assistant Analyst and Research Technology/Database Team Leader
Southern Illinois University Carbondale (where work was completed) and Kronys Inc.
Carbondale, Illinois