Breakfast and lunchboxes provided to foundation phase learners: do caregivers’ knowledge and attitude reflect their practices?
Background: This study was conducted to determine nutritional knowledge, and to identify whether caregivers’ knowledge and attitudes related to their breakfast and lunchbox food-providing practices.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted. Questionnaires were used to collect the data. The study population included 1286 caregivers of foundation phase learners in Quintile 5 schools from Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Results: The median score for knowledge regarding breakfast and lunchboxes of caregivers was 55.6% and 73.1%, respectively. Knowledge on breakfast and lunchbox foods was higher for caregivers older than 35 years (breakfast median 55.6, p = 0.0479 and lunchbox median 76.9, p < 0.0001) and who possessed a tertiary qualification (breakfast median 55.6, p = 0.0009 and lunchbox median 76.9, p < 0.0001). The attitudes of caregivers were generally positive towards providing healthy breakfast and lunchbox foods (breakfast median 71.4% and lunchbox median 82.5%). The primary objective of caregivers’ provision of a lunchbox was health considerations (n = 658, 54.2%) followed by being filling (n = 277, 22.8%). The median score to rate the provision of healthy breakfast foods was 26.7% and 35.6% for lunchbox foods. Healthier breakfasts and lunchboxes were provided by caregivers with a tertiary qualification.
Conclusions: A need to educate caregivers on the provision of healthy breakfast and lunchbox foods has been identified.
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