What is it about?

Internationally, it is well established that the behaviour, performance, and achievement of schoolchildren is directly linked to the nutritional status of overall diet – including the contents of their school lunch-boxes. In a previous survey study by the lead authors, primary school children’s food consumption behaviour was investigated. Results indicated that most children’s lunch-boxes contained an over-representation of ‘undesirable’ food groups and an under-representation of fruit and vegetables. This follow-up study examined children’s awareness of healthy food choices and investigated what food groups children would choose if given free choice when constructing a lunch-box.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Results indicated a significant difference between the fruit and vegetable content between lunch-boxes, demonstrating that children understood fruit and vegetables are healthy – but that they did not necessarily translate this knowledge into action.


The influences on children’s choices in fruit and vegetables are as complex as the barriers to them eating. This study offers unique insight into the knowledge and behaviours of schoolchildren when selecting and consuming fruit and vegetables – especially given a degree of autonomy and choice.

Dr Dean Whitehead
Flinders University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Children’s selection of fruit and vegetables in a ‘dream versus healthy’ lunch-box survey, Health Education Journal, October 2011, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0017896911422964.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page