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Nudging children toward healthier food choices: An experiment combining school and home gardens


01.2018 - 12.2019

There is a surge of school garden programs in developing countries, but there is very little evidence to date that such programs drive children to make healthier food choices.


AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center
Horticulture Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC)
Government of Nepal
Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB)

While previous studies demonstrated that school gardens can improve children’s knowledge of and preferences for healthier  foods, actual improvement in food choices may be constrained by low availability of healthy foods  and the overriding influence of caregivers on children’s diets. This project tests the hypothesis that  school garden programs can nudge children aged 8-12 toward healthier diets, evaluating a randomized intervention in 30 schools from one district in Nepal are randomly assigned to a control and intervention group. The intervention also includes a home garden component that trains parents in gardening and nutrition and promotes parents and children to work together to improve family nutrition. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative method the study will provide a deeper  understanding of the mechanisms through which school-based interventions can influence children’s food choices and thereby contribute to better nutrition intervention designs globally.

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