Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


This study was devised to determine the readiness of preschool children to learn about basic concepts of nutrition. Sixty preschool children enrolled in the Utah State University Child Development Laboratory, comprised the sample. Twenty children were taught at home by parents, 20 were taught at the Laboratory, and 20 received no instruction. The curriculum was based on the concept of nutrient density and used the Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) in developing instructional mate rials. INQ is an index for comparing the amount of nutrients to the amount of calories in a food. Food Profile Cards, visual representations of this information for non-reading preschoolers, were the main teaching tools.

Findings indicate that preschoolers are capable of learning about nutrition using the INQ concept. Mean comparisons of pre and posttest scores on a 12-item nutrition test were significant in the classroom and home-taught groups. Children in either treatment condition improved at significant levels in ability to recognize foods, identify nutrients in foods, and identify nutrient functions in the body.