Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Nutritional Intervention and Breakfast Behavior of Kindergartens

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Nutritional Intervention and Breakfast Behavior of Kindergartens

Article excerpt

Breakfast

is associated with nutrient adequacy and often regarded as the most important meal of the day (1-2). Breakfast does benefit for growing children in many health aspects. Regular eating breakfast not only great increase the overall daily diet quality (3), but also is associated with increased intelligence quotient in kindergarten children (4). Evidence suggests that breakfast consumption may improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance. As part of a healthy diet, breakfast can improve children's health and well-being (5). The prevalence of breakfast skipping is 5.3% in boys and 5.2% in girls, according to a survey conducted in Hong Kong among 68,606 Chinese school children (6). However, the prevalence of breakfast skipping among Chinese preschool children is unclear due to a lacking of relevant national data. In

children, near-daily basis regularly breakfast was significant associated with increasing full scale, verbal, and IQ test scores , compared to "sometimes" have breakfast (4). Regular breakfast consumption is associated with increased IQ in kindergarten children (4). Additionally, the prevalence of obesity among Chinese children is high (7), which could be partly due to breakfast patterns. For example, a Dutch birth cohort study has shown that breakfast skipping is associated with being overweight among 1,366 children aged 2-5 years (8). In China, 6% of boys and 7% of girls did not "regularly" eat breakfast among 1,344 pre-school Chinese children, according to China Jintan Child Cohort Cohort Study (9). Thus pose a problem in the area of child nutrition.

Patterns of breakfast intake include breakfast frequency, time of breakfast, and breakfast food selection. While it is beneficial to have breakfast, the type of food selected for breakfast should also be factored in when considering breakfast pattern. Patterns of breakfast intake among children and adolescents are a public health concern (10), ever, are only a few studies that have assessed the children's breakfast pattern. In

China, children with both working parents have limited income, lacking of healthy options at home/knowledge on the benefits of breakfast, rush out to work in the morning. Parents influence the child's food selection and availability, although they lack the related information. Most unhealthy dietary behavior is highly associated with parents. Early childhood is important for development. Parents are more likely to be communicating with the kindergarten. Hence, it is important to cultivate a healthy breakfast pattern during early childhood by implementing nutrition education programs through the kindergarten channel. Little is known about breakfast skipping in Chinese children aged 2 to 5 years; we studied factors in this very young group. Chinese

kindergarten refers to full-day programs serving children from age 3 to age 6. Education on physical care is the primary emphasis in this program. Class size increases with age, ranging from 20 to 40 children. Each group typically has two teachers and a nurse. Kindergarten is an important component of the pre-school education system. According to the Chinese Education Department, the prevalence of kindergarten is 47.8% in 2008 across the nation. Kindergarten has been universalized in city. Most kindergartens provide lunch and snack. All the kindergartens in our study did not provide breakfast. Usually, kindergarten children arrive around eight o'clock and class sessions alternate with free play-time. Following a hot, tious lunch, take a long nap and then eat a snack and have free play-time. Families pick up the children after work. Learning and developing life skills is considered an important part of the curriculum, particularly for younger children. The presented

study investigated breakfast patterns of Chinese pre-school children and whether their breakfast patterns can be modified by tion We hypothesized that breakfast patterns can be modified in both Chinese children and parents by appropriate nutrition education. …

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