To examine the potential efficacy of a brief telephone-based parental intervention in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged 3–5 years and to examine the feasibility of intervention delivery and acceptability to parents.
A pre–post study design with no comparison group. Telephone surveys were conducted approximately 1 week before and following intervention delivery.
Participants were recruited through pre-schools in the Hunter region, New South Wales, Australia.
Thirty-four parents of 3–5-year-olds received four 30-min interventional telephone calls over 4 weeks administered by trained telephone interviewers. The scripted support calls focused on fruit and vegetable availability and accessibility within the home, parental role modelling of fruit and vegetable consumption and on implementing supportive family eating routines.
Following the intervention, the frequency and variety of fruit and vegetable consumption increased (
P= 0·027), as measured by a subscale of the children's dietary questionnaire. The intervention was feasible to be delivered to parents, as all participants who started the intervention completed all four calls, and all aspects of the interventional calls, including the number, length, content, format and relevance, were considered acceptable by more than 90 % of parents. Conclusions
A brief telephone-based parental intervention to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in pre-school-aged children may be effective, feasible and acceptable. Further investigation is warranted in a randomised controlled trial.