• Nutritional knowledge of parents and the packed lunch they provide their children

      Fallows, Stephen; Healy, Yvonne (University of Chester, 2009-09)
      This dissertation aims to investigate if the level of Irish parents’/guardians’ nutritional knowledge reflects the foods they provide in their children’s packed lunch. Another aim of the study was to determine if parents’/guardians’ level of education reflects their level of nutritional knowledge. A final aim of the study was to determine whether boys or girls had healthier lunchboxes. To have the children complete a lunchbox questionnaire, and for the parents/guardians to complete a General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire for Adults. The study population consisted of 35 8-9 year old children from a South Dublin primary school and their parents/guardians formed the study population. A lunchbox questionnaire was completed by the children and a General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire for Adults was completed by the parents/guardians. SPSS was undertaken to determine whether any correlations existed between the level of nutritional knowledge and the foods provided; the level of nutritional knowledge and the level of education; and to determine any differences between the boys’ and the girls’ lunchboxes. The results from this study show that level of parental nutritional knowledge does not reflect the foods they provide in their child’s lunchbox (p>0.05). There was no relationship found between level of nutritional knowledge and level of education (p>0.05), nor was there any significant difference (p>0.05) between the health status of the boys and girls lunchboxes. The standard of lunches was low, as was the level of nutritional awareness of the parents/guardians. This study attempts to fill a gap in the literature, investigating whether the level of parental nutritional knowledge reflects the lunches they provide in their children’s packed lunch. The results from this study found that level of nutritional knowledge does not reflect the foods parents/guardians provide in packed lunches. Health promotion strategies are needed to target new areas in order to broaden nutritional awareness in the Irish adult population. Healthy lunchbox strategies are recommended to be employed by parents and/or schools in order to improve the nutritional quality of these meals.