Dietary habits and food intake frequency of preschool children

Agim Rysha (University of Pejë, Pejë, Kosovo)
Tahire M. Gjergji (Medical Faculty, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo)
Angelika Ploeger (Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to assess the dietary habits and frequency of food intake by preschool-aged children in Kosovo.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a survey of meal patterning and frequency of food group intake, using a combined 24-hour recall and Dietary history questionnaires. The assessment took place in different towns of Kosovo. Parents completed 232 questionnaires with data on dietary habits and food frequency intake of their children. Intake frequencies were computed and included in the analyses.

Findings

Dietary habits and frequency of food intake for specific foods (the main typical foods from the food groups) did not show significant differences (P > 0.05) between age groups, except in terms of milk consumption (P < 0.05) and soft drinks intake (P < 0.001). It was found that the consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as other high-fiber foods is very limited.

Research limitations

Despite the limitation in terms of sample, the results can be used by Kosovo’s authorities as an indication for an assessment of child’s development patterns in the country.

Originality/value

This assessment reports for the first time the dietary habits and frequency of food intake by preschool-aged children in Kosovo. The dietary pattern was shown to be low in wholegrain products and fruits and vegetables, and high in soft drinks and sweet and salty foods. Health and education authorities should develop national programs and dietary guidelines on recommended dietary intakes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Sanije Hoxha for her advice and support during data processing. The authors also acknowledge the children of five kindergartens, parents, teachers, cooking ladies and directors.

Citation

Rysha, A., Gjergji, T.M. and Ploeger, A. (2017), "Dietary habits and food intake frequency of preschool children", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 534-542. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-01-2017-0004

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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