Fruits and Vegetables at Home: Child and Parent Perceptions

Ramona Robinson-O'Brien, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Peter J. Hannan, Teri Burgess-Champoux, Jess Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: Examine child and parent perceptions of home food environment factors and associations with child fruit and vegetable (FV) intake. Design: Research staff administered surveys to children during after-school sessions, and parents completed surveys by mail or over the phone. Setting: Four urban elementary schools in St. Paul, Minnesota, serving primarily low-income populations. Participants: Seventy-three children (55 girls, 18 boys) and 1 parent/guardian per child participated in a theater-based intervention aimed at obesity prevention. Main Outcome Measures: Perceptions of home food environment factors (home FV availability, home FV accessibility; parental encouragement to eat FV; family meal frequency). Analysis: Descriptive statistics and paired t tests. Results: On average, child and parent perceptions of the home food environment were similar. When comparing child-parent dyad perceptions of home food environment, a moderate to high level of agreement (56%-86%) was found. Child report of home FV availability, home FV accessibility, parental encouragement to eat FV, and family meal frequency explained 26.7% of the variance in child FV intake, whereas parent report of these factors explained 4.9% of the variance. Conclusions and Implications: It is important to understand both child and parent perceptions of the home food environment when developing interventions aimed at increasing child FV intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and by the National Institutes of Health grant number R21 DK072972 (PI: Neumark-Sztainer). The first author's time was supported by the Adolescent Health Protection Program (School of Nursing, University of Minnesota) grant number T01-DP000112 (PI: Bearinger) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.


  • child
  • fruit and vegetable intake
  • home environment
  • parent

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