Background. Community-based studies are needed that examine the effect of parent behaviors on the developing food preferences and dietary patterns of young children. This proposal is a competing continuation of the successful Altering Dietary Patterns in African American Parents Study (R01 CA68398), which resulted in the development of the High 5, Low Fat Program (H5LF). H5LF taught parents how to be positive models of dietary behavior to their young children and was integrated within Parent As Teachers (PAT), a parent education program. Significant improvements were noted in fruit and vegetable intake (FV) of intervention parents who engaged in frequent modeling of dietary behaviors, compared to control group parents who were less frequent modelers (5.4 vrs. 4.2 servings per day; p less than .05); but we were unable to assess the extent to which parental changes influenced child intake due to their age (0 to 36 months).
Aims. The primary aim of this proposal is to test High 5 for Preschool Kids (H5-Kids), a community based intervention to which we will intervene with parents to promote their preschool children's (ages 3 to 5 years) preference for and intake of FV. Secondary aims will examine whether all or part of improvements in child intake are explained by changes in parent behavior. Methods and Evaluation. H5-Kids is based on a conceptual model of family reciprocal determinism and ecological perspectives. The child's FV preferences and intake will be impacted by an intervention using social cognitive strategies to target mediating factors within the intrapersonal environment of the parent (intake, knowledge of developing child nutrition patterns), interpersonal environment of parent-child (modeling, interaction-communication), and physical environment (FV access, availability). This approach combines personal visits with child-focused computer-tailored storybooks, and interactive newsletters. A group randomized, nested cohort design will evaluate impact on FV intake of children and their parents randomized to a control (n=840) or intervention (n=840) group. Innovation. This study will evaluate the parent to child path of influence on the developing dietary patterns of children. We will build upon our longstanding and successful partnership with Parents As Teachers, a national parent education agency that will disseminate H5-Kids through over 2000 PAT-affiliated sites across all 50 states.
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