Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2016, Article ID 4304265, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4304265
Research Article

Effectiveness of a Nutrition Education Program to Improve Children’s Chewing Habits

1Department of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Morioka, 808 Sunakomi, Takizawa, Iwate 020-0694, Japan
2Nutrition Ecology, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Kagawa Nutrition University, 3-9-21 Chiyoda, Sakado, Saitama 350-0288, Japan
3Department of Health Sciences, Aomori University of Health and Welfare, 58-1 Mase, Hamadate, Aomori, Aomori 030-8505, Japan

Received 27 November 2015; Accepted 16 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jan Polak

Copyright © 2016 Nanae Sato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This quasi-experimental study determined whether the nutrition education program we developed to promote chewing food properly influenced children’s chewing habits successfully. Four kindergarten classes in Japan (150 children, aged 5-6 years) were studied; one class received the educational program in the classroom and at home (Group A) and three classes received the program in the classroom only (Group B). The educational program was integrated into the classes’ daily curriculum for five weeks. It included storytelling with large picture books, chewing consciously while eating lunch, singing a song with gestures, and greetings before and after meals (both groups). Group A also used a paper textbook and was provided information by the leaflet to encourage guardians to implement the program at home. Chewing habits before and after intervention were evaluated: (1) guardians completed seven questionnaire items related to chewing habits and chewing movement and (2) the number of chews and time spent eating the test meal were measured by a portable chewing sensor. Both approaches improved the children’s chewing habits; however, no difference was found between the two groups. We concluded that this intervention could be used to improve chewing habits in young children even without active involvement of their guardians.