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Open AccessArticle

Nutrition Education in the Australian New South Wales Primary School Curriculum: Knowledge and Attitudes of Students and Parents

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, NSW, Australia
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Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, NSW, Australia
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School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, NSW, Australia
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Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, NSW, Australia
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School of Environmental and Life Sciences (SELS), The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah 2258, NSW, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2020, 7(4), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/children7040024
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
In NSW, Australia, the views of primary-school aged children and their parents in regard to the importance of nutrition education at school are unclear. The aim of the current study was to explore children’s knowledge of nutrition and eating habits and to identify gaps that future school nutrition education programs could target. Students aged 9 to 12 years and their parents (n = 21 dyads) were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews, complete a nutrition knowledge questionnaire, and perform a “healthy-unhealthy” food sorting task in a University food laboratory. Among the children, nutrition knowledge scores concerning “serves & portions” of common foods were lowest, identifying a gap in knowledge related to portion size. All children categorized fruits, vegetables, cola, and water correctly as “healthy” or “unhealthy” in the sorting task, but not for the sausage and muesli bar, suggesting that further support categorising processed foods may be needed. The interviews indicated that parents do actively try to teach their children about nutrition, although they reported feeling uncertain about their own level of nutrition knowledge. Children and parents indicated that there is very little nutrition education in school and more is needed. This research could be used to inform future curriculum components related to nutrition education for primary school children. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; education; knowledge; children; parents; school; dietary intake; attitude nutrition; education; knowledge; children; parents; school; dietary intake; attitude
MDPI and ACS Style

de Vlieger, N.; van Rossum, J.; Riley, N.; Miller, A.; Collins, C.; Bucher, T. Nutrition Education in the Australian New South Wales Primary School Curriculum: Knowledge and Attitudes of Students and Parents. Children 2020, 7, 24.

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