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Parental Perception and Dietary Behaviors of Preschool Children with Environment-friendly Food Service in Kindergarten

유치원 친환경급식 실시에 따른 학부모의 인식도 및 유아의 식행동

  • Bae, Ji Won (Department of Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Oh, Myung Suk (Department of Food and Nutrition, The Catholic University of Korea)
  • 배지원 (가톨릭대학교 교육대학원 영양교육전공) ;
  • 오명숙 (가톨릭대학교 식품영양학과)
  • Received : 2012.08.23
  • Accepted : 2012.12.04
  • Published : 2012.12.30

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the differences in households, parental perception, and dietary behaviors of preschool children from kindergartens with environment-friendly food service (environment-friendly food service group; EFG) versus children from kindergartens with general food service (general food service group; GFG). We sought this basic information to examine the impact of environment-friendly agricultural products in preschool food services. Age, education level, and monthly family income of the EFG were significantly higher than the GFG. The frequency of purchasing environment-friendly agricultural products was significantly higher in the EFG than the GFG, with the most frequently purchased items in both groups being vegetables. The GFG had a significantly higher perception than the EFG in the superior quality of environment-friendly agricultural products; however, a greater proportion of the GFG than the EFG thought environment-friendly products were too expensive. The most frequent reason for purchasing environment-friendly agricultural products in both groups was safety. When purchasing environment-friendly agricultural products, the most important selection factor for the majority of both groups was the label certifying quality assurance. Both groups also considered price reduction as essential for promoting environment-friendly agricultural products. In regard to parental perceptions on food service in kindergarten, the EFG had a significantly higher satisfaction with the nutritional adequacy of the menu compared to the GFG. Both groups considered food safety and health as primary reasons for using environment-friendly foods in the preschool food service, with a greater proportion of the EFG than the GFG responding this way. There were significant differences between the EFG and GFG, as the main satisfaction from using environment-friendly foods in the EFG was safety, freshness, and good hygiene, whereas the main satisfaction in the GFG was a good food service menu, freshness and good hygiene. Dietary behaviors of preschool children in the EFG were also significantly superior to the GFG. Thus, environment-friendly agricultural products have positive effects on the dietary behaviors of preschool children and should be increased in the preschool food service. Lowering prices and a strict supervision of quality assurance is also necessary to promote consumption of environment-friendly food materials.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 가톨릭대학교

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