AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Impact of a nutrition education programme on the nutrition knowledge of grade R learners in Durban

by Susan Inge Vermeer

Institution: Durban University of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: Pre-primary children; Nutrition knowledge; Nutrition education; Nutrition education tools; Nutrition policy – South Africa – Durban; Preschool children – Nutrition – South Africa – Durban; Nutrition – Study and teaching – South Africa – Durban; Nutrition – Education – South Africa – Durban
Record ID: 1413559
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/1277


Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Masters of Applied Science in Food and Nutrition, Durban University of Technology, 2015. AIM: The aim of the study was to identify the need, develop, implement and determine the effect of a Grade R Nutrition Education Programme (NEP) in order to make recommendations to the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE) to include an effective NEP in the pre-primary school education curriculum. OBJECTIVES: The objectives for this study is in two phases, The objective of the baseline study was to assess the need for nutrition education (NE) in Grade R in suburban areas of Durban and identify the most suitable nutrition education tools (NETs) for this age group. For the intervention study the objectives were 1) to develop a nutrition knowledge questionnaire (NKQ) to determine the existing nutrition knowledge of Grade R learners in suburban government and private schools in Durban, 2) to develop a nutrition education programme (NEP) for Grade R based on the South African Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) and the food groups, 3) to implement the NEP in Grade R in a government and private school, 4) to determine the effect of the NEP on the retention of FBDGs (Section one) and food group (Section two) knowledge, and 5) to compare the results between the control group (CG) and the government (EGG) and private (EPG) experimental school groups, and between genders. METHODS: A self-administered nutrition education needs questionnaire was completed by 20 Grade R teachers in Durban suburban schools. Nutrition education material was identified based on the results from the pilot study and a Nutrition education programme developed. The classroom-based intervention study involved 120 Grade R learners in three schools, two experimental schools: government (n=37) and private (n=40), with a control school (n=43), with 35 percent (n= 42) male and 65 percent (n=78) female participants, ranging in age from five to seven years. A validated questionnaire assessed baseline nutrition knowledge of these children. A qualified foundation phase teacher was trained to implement the NEP. The experimental school groups received eight one hour nutrition education (NE) lessons over an eight week period; the control group did not receive any NE. During the lesson firstly theory was covered then the children worked on the related fun activities in the Healthy Eating Activity Book (HEAB) and lastly involved in the nutrition educational games. These included a food group plate puzzles, a NEP board game, a card game and ‘My little story books’. A post-test determined the impact of the intervention. RESULTS: The baseline study confirmed the need for NE in Grade R and identified suitable NETs that were used in the intervention. At pre-test, the nutrition knowledge of Grade R children in the two experimental groups (EG) and one CG was very similar with knowledge of FBDGs greater than knowledge relating to the food groups. Both Grade R EGs showed a significant…