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Food and nutrition education in Australian primary schools: parents' views

Food and nutrition education in Australian primary schools: parents' views Primary schools provide continuous, intensive contact with large numbers of children starting from a young age, thus providing an appropriate setting for the promotion of healthy eating through food and nutrition education (FNE). This qualitative study explores the views of Australian primary school parents about FNE in primary schools.Design/methodology/approachIn total, 19 parents of primary school children from Victoria participated in semi-structured interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed and underwent thematic analysis using Nvivo. A total of three themes emerged: FNE topics currently taught in primary schools, essential food skills and knowledge for primary school children and the importance of FNE.FindingsMost parents thought that FNE is as important as the core subjects of primary school. Parental support for FNE, which is delivered over a prolonged period, and expanded by hands-on content such as cooking and gardening classes was evident. Parents viewed these classes as likely to improve children's food-related knowledge and healthy eating behaviours. Parents expressed appreciation for schools' emphasis on food sustainability and its alignment with school policies and practices. Parents were keen to see more sustainability included in the curriculum.Practical implicationsThese results may have implications for curriculum developers and schools, as the findings can assist the design of food and nutrition curricula for primary schools which can empower children as well as their families to make better food-related decisions.Originality/valueAustralian parents' views of FNE in primary schools have been under examined. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing

Food and nutrition education in Australian primary schools: parents' views

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0965-4283
DOI
10.1108/he-11-2020-0113
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Primary schools provide continuous, intensive contact with large numbers of children starting from a young age, thus providing an appropriate setting for the promotion of healthy eating through food and nutrition education (FNE). This qualitative study explores the views of Australian primary school parents about FNE in primary schools.Design/methodology/approachIn total, 19 parents of primary school children from Victoria participated in semi-structured interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed and underwent thematic analysis using Nvivo. A total of three themes emerged: FNE topics currently taught in primary schools, essential food skills and knowledge for primary school children and the importance of FNE.FindingsMost parents thought that FNE is as important as the core subjects of primary school. Parental support for FNE, which is delivered over a prolonged period, and expanded by hands-on content such as cooking and gardening classes was evident. Parents viewed these classes as likely to improve children's food-related knowledge and healthy eating behaviours. Parents expressed appreciation for schools' emphasis on food sustainability and its alignment with school policies and practices. Parents were keen to see more sustainability included in the curriculum.Practical implicationsThese results may have implications for curriculum developers and schools, as the findings can assist the design of food and nutrition curricula for primary schools which can empower children as well as their families to make better food-related decisions.Originality/valueAustralian parents' views of FNE in primary schools have been under examined.

Journal

Health EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: May 21, 2021

Keywords: Parents; Food and nutrition education; Qualitative methods; School health promotion; Curriculum

References