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Franklin, TN, United States

Sweitzer S.J.,University of Texas at Austin | Ranjit N.,Dell | Calloway E.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Hoelscher D.M.,Dell | And 3 more authors.
Behavioral Medicine | Year: 2016

Data from a five-week intervention to increase parents packing of vegetables and whole grains in their preschool children's sack lunches showed that, although changes occurred, habit strength was weak. To determine the effects of adding a one-week booster three months post-intervention, children's (N = 59 intervention and 48 control) lunches were observed at baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 6), pre-booster (week 20), and post-booster (week 26). Servings of vegetables and whole grains were evaluated in repeated measures models and results inspected relative to patterns projected from different explanatory models of behavior change processes. Observed changes aligned with projections from the simple associative model of behavior change. Attention in future studies should focus on behavioral intervention elements that leverage stimulus-response associations to increase gratification parents receive from providing their children with healthy lunches. Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Briley M.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Ranjit N.,University of Texas at Austin | Holescher D.M.,University of Texas at Austin | Sweitzer S.J.,University of Texas at Austin | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Health Education | Year: 2012

Background: Packing fruit, vegetables and whole grains in preschool children's sack lunches is a powerful way for parents to teach their children eating habits and food preferences to support a lifetime of good health. A multilevel intervention pilottested in childcare settings increased servings of vegetables and whole grains, but the lunches still fell short of the intervention goals. Purpose: Secondary analyses were conducted to identify specific behavior changes underlying achieved increases in servings of vegetables and whole grains. Methods: Food records from direct observation of 769 parent-packed lunches were investigated to unbundle and measure multiple aspects of lunch packing behavior. Changes from baseline to six week follow-up for the intervention (N = 81) and comparison (N = 51) parent-child dyads were evaluated in multilevel modeling. Results: The increase for whole grains was explained by more parents packing whole grain items whereas increase for vegetables was explained by parents packing vegetables on more days. Discussion: Tailored options were identified for further strategies to increase vegetables and whole grains in parent-packed sack lunches. Translation to Health Education Practice: Linking achieved outcomes to specific behaviors can be an aid in assessing needs and designing interventions to maximize the chances for success. Source


Almansour F.D.,University of Texas at Austin | Sweitzer S.J.,University of Texas at Austin | Magness A.A.,University of Texas at Austin | Calloway E.E.,University of Texas at Austin | And 4 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVE: To measure the temperatures of foods in sack lunches of preschool-aged children before consumption at child care centers. METHODS: All parents of 3- to 5-year-old children in full-time child care at 9 central Texas centers were invited to participate in the study. Foods packed by the parents for lunch were individually removed from the sack and immediately measured with noncontact temperature guns 1.5 hours before food was served to the children. Type of food and number of ice packs in the lunch sack were also recorded. Descriptive analyses were conducted by using SPSS 13.0 for Windows. RESULTS: Lunches, with at least 1 perishable item in each, were assessed from 235 parent-child dyads. Approximately 39% (n = 276) of the 705 lunches analyzed had no ice packs, 45.1% (n = 318) had 1 ice pack, and 88.2% (n = 622) of lunches were at ambient temperatures. Only 1.6% (n = 22) of perishable items (n = 1361) were in the safe temperature zone. Even with multiple ice packs, the majority of lunch items (>90%) were at unsafe temperatures. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide initial data on how frequently sack lunches sent by parents of preschool-aged children are kept at unsafe temperatures. Education of parents and the public must be focused on methods of packing lunches that allow the food to remain in the safe temperature zone to prevent foodborne illness. Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Source


Roberts-Gray C.,Third Coast Interactive, Inc. | Briley M.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Ranjit N.,University of Texas at Austin | Byrd-Williams C.E.,University of Texas at Austin | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2016

Background: Lunches that parents pack for their young children to eat at school or the Early Care and Education (ECE) center fall short of recommended standards. Lunch is in the Bag is a multi-level behavioral nutrition intervention to increase parents' packing of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in their children's lunches. Designed for implementation in ECE centers, the five-week long intervention is followed three months later with a one-week booster. Methods: Efficacy of Lunch is in the Bag was tested in cluster randomized trial. Participants were 633 families from 30 ECE centers (15 intervention, 15 control) across Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas, USA. Primary outcomes were servings of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains observed in the children's parent-packed bag lunches. Servings of refined grains, meats/beans/eggs/nuts, dairy, chips, and sweets also were observed. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention (6-week follow-up), pre-booster (22-weeks follow-up), and post-booster (28-week follow-up). Time-by-treatment interactions were analyzed separately for each of the food groups using multi-level models to compare changes from baseline. Analyses were adjusted for relevant demographic variables and clustering within centers and parents. Results: The intervention effected increases from baseline to 6-week follow-up in vegetables (0.17 servings, SE = 0.04, P < 0.001) and whole grains (0.30 servings, SE =0.13, P = 0.018). The increase in whole grains was maintained through the 28-week follow-up (0.34 servings, SE = 0.13, P = 0.009). Fruit averaged more than 1.40 servings with no differences between groups or across time. The intervention prevented increase in sweets (-0.43 servings, SE = 0.11, P < .001, at the 22-week follow-up). Parents persisted, however, in packing small amounts of vegetables (averages of 0.41 to 0.52 servings) and large amounts of sweets and chips (averages of 1.75 to 1.99 servings). Conclusions: The need for and positive effects of the Lunch is in the Bag intervention at ECE centers where parents send bag lunch for their preschool-aged children was confirmed. An important direction for future research is discovery of more options for leveraging the partnership of ECE centers and families to help young children learn to eat and enjoy vegetables and other healthy foods in preference to less healthy choices such as chips and sweets. © 2016 Roberts-Gray et al. Source


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