Veggie Brek: feasibility and acceptability
We found that offering vegetables to children for breakfast at nursery was acceptable to the children and staff. Children were willing to consume vegetables at breakfast time, eating some part of the vegetables in six out of ten (62.4%) instances where offered. The study processes were also acceptable to nursery staff.
We implemented a feasibility and acceptability cluster randomised controlled trial in eight UK nurseries. All nurseries engaged in one-week baseline and follow-up phases before and after an intervention/control period. Staff in intervention nurseries offered three raw carrot batons and three cucumber sticks alongside children’s main breakfast food each day for three weeks. Control nurseries offered children their usual breakfast. We wanted to assess recruitment, nursery staff's ability to follow the trial protocol, and children’s willingness to eat the vegetables at breakfast time. We also sought views about the Veggie Brek intervention through interviews with nursery staff.
From a public health perspective, the Veggie Brek intervention provides another time in the day where children are exposed to vegetables, with regular exposure a key factor in increasing the likelihood that children will learn to like and eat vegetables. Ultimately, an additional exposure is likely to lead to children consuming more vegetables each day, supporting optimal health, well-being and development across their lifespan.
McLeod CJ, Haycraft, E, Daley AJ. Offering vegetables to children at breakfast time in nursery and kindergarten settings: the Veggie Brek feasibility and acceptability cluster randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity volume 20, Article number: 38 (2023). DOI: doi.org/10.1186/s12966-023-01443-z
This publication presents independent research funded in part by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) via the Research Professorship award (NIHR300026) to AJD, the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester, and Loughborough University via CJM’s Doctoral Prize Fellowship. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care or Loughborough University. The funding bodies did not have any role in the design of the study, collection, analysis, interpretation of findings, or writing of the manuscript.