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UBC Undergraduate Research

Snack Attack at Chuva : UBC Child Care Case Study Fang, Evelyn; Mann, Simryn; Ung, Veronica; Zhang, John; Zhang, Lilin


The nutritional status’ of twelve toddlers from Chuva Daycare were assessed using dietary and ecological methods. Assessment methods included a five day food record, a staff nutrition survey, and qualitative observations collected during one morning snack session. Based on data collected from the dietary assessment, we did not find a significant nutritional concern in terms of excessive carbohydrate or caloric intake. Food records and observations showed that the servings and food groups of the snacks provided appropriately adhered to the Canada’s Food Guide for children under the age of three. Based on the nutritional survey, we recognize that the staff are giving their best efforts to ensure that healthy snacks are available and accessible to the children in consideration with ecological factors. We observed the presence of certain food aversions as a result of pickiness and disinterest, and diagnosed that this could prevent children from consuming optimal quantities of fruits and vegetables. We constructed the following PES statement: sub-optimal fruit and vegetable intake from snacks related to lack of appeal and disinterest derived from the taste and textures of certain fruits and vegetables as evidenced by observations of eating patterns and reported child pickiness. We suggest three research-based interventions that address our findings. The first strategy, which can produce results in the short term, is strategic pairing. It is implemented by serving snacks together that are similar in popularity to encourage consumption of both snacks. The second strategy can be employed in the long-term, which is to plan multiple re-exposures to new or initially unpopular types of snacks in order to promote eventual acceptance. The third strategy is to reduce portion sizes to generate a sense of autonomy and control in the child when he or she is able to successfully finish their plate and ask for seconds. Supporting resources were also provided to the daycare staff in the form of a brochure containing a variety of snack ideas for each food group and suggestions on how to integrate these into the children’s diets. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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