AffiliationHealth Service Executive (HSE), Dublin Mid-Leinster
MetadataShow full item record
CitationCharlotte Johnston Molloy, Clare Corish, John Kearney, Nóirín Hayes, Corina Glennon Slattery, (2011) "Developing a nutrition assessment tool for Irish pre-schools", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 41 Iss: 1, pp.44 - 53
JournalNutrition & Food Science
DescriptionPurpose – The provision of nutritious food to children in full day care pre-schools is essential to ensure adequate child growth and development. The purpose of this paper is to outline the development of a nutrition assessment tool (scored evaluation form (SEF)) for this setting, and describe the nutrition practice findings measured by this tool in full day child care in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach – This study involved two phases: first, a comprehensive literature review carried out on each criterion in the SEF to ensure best practice; and second, use of the SEF in full day care pre-schools to assess their nutrition practice. Findings – Use of the SEF demonstrated that portion sizes provided to infants and toddlers were inadequate. Poor provision of iron containing, vegetable and dairy foods was noted, as were poor meal time practices. The phrasing of certain criteria needs modification to avoid misinterpretation of portion size. Research limitations/implications – With small modifications to clarify the portion size provided, the SEF can be used in the pre-school setting to ascertain nutrition practice. Practical implications – The SEF requires testing to determine its utility as an intervention tool whereby its use may lead to positive changes in nutrition practice in the pre-school setting. Originality/value – This paper outlines the development of a nutrition practice assessment tool for the full day child care setting in Ireland and describes previously unknown data gathered using this tool.