Gains in the food quality of school snacks for children in Primary Education
- Family assessment,
- School Health Services,
- Consumer Product Safety,
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
School age represents a window of opportunity to acquire healthy eating habits. The school is a fundamental institution in the formation of these habits, namely school snacks, insofar as it provides formal collaborative learning with the family. It was intended to characterize the food quality of school meals for children in the 1st Cycle Basic Education and their individual and social health determinants; to evaluate the gains in food quality of school meals for children in the 1st Cycle Basic Education, sensitive to the
“Healthy snacks” project. Quantitative study, quasi-experimental study without a control group. 753 children from the 1st CEB of a municipality in the Central Region of Portugal participated in the study year 2018/2019 (population-based sample). The intervention
consisted of health education sessions and lessons adapted to each child, at the beginning of the project and when blindly evaluating school snacks. The records of the food quality of the snacks were made, through a grid created for the purpose, by the teachers after training the classification criteria of the snacks. The evaluation was performed blindly during 5 weeks of the 2nd and 3rd periods. During the development of the project, there was a continuous and gradual improvement in the food quality of school snacks by the participants. Girls showed better food quality in school snacks than boys. The intervention performed was effective in improving the food quality of children's school snacks with highly significant statistical results. The project to promote healthy eating resulted in improving the food quality of children's school snacks. The results suggest the need to expand the project's implementation to other children from a health perspective in all policies and collaborative work to promote the exercise of parenting and children's health.