Most parents are aware of fruits and vegetables being healthy for children, but children's and adolescents's dietary intake of F&V is still below the recommendations. The question to be investigated is: what fills the gap between parents' nutritional knowledge and children's diet? A mixed methods research was conducted to study parental perspective of children nutrition. Parental information needs were explored conducting a content analysis of 178 nutrition questions posed by parents 2008 contacting the helpdesk of a public funded consumer website. Each question was coded for main and sub topics, worries and fears, using a standardized coding form. Based on this study a questionnaire was developed inquiring parental knowledge, attitudes and perceived difficulties regarding children's nutrition. A sample of 731 parents of children between 3 to 10 years complete the questionnaire including a fruit and vegetable frequency questionnaire and sociodemographic characteristics. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to include highly correlated items as independent variables. Robust OLS regression analysis was conducted, to assume the relationship between F&V consumption of children and the parental predictor variables. Content analysis revealed two main topics of parent's questions: nutrition behaviour related questions (32%) and knowledge related questions (26%). Regression analysis showed that parents' habit to provide fruit and vegetables daily as well as knowledge related aspects has a significant positive impact on children's F&V intake while the opposite holds for the determinants perceived difficulties (facto 1) and indulgent and pragmatic attitudes (fact 2). This study adds to the existing literature in that it investigates personal barriers and facilitators of parents towards their children's F&V consumption. Parental awareness of difficulties regarding fruits and vegetable consumption seems to be a strong mediator of low F&V consumption. Results suggest that nutrition information might enhance difficulties if parents lack of procedural and behavioural abilities to transform knowledge into everyday life.


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