Graduate Program

Nutrition and Dietetics

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Melanie T. Burns


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of nutrition education on the fruit and vegetable consumption of third grade students. This was in an effort to determine whether nutrition education played a role in the consumption of fruits and vegetables because current intakes are very low. This quasi-experimental study consisted of a relatively small convenience sample at a rural elementary school. For this study, thirty-minute nutrition education lessons were delivered for four consecutive weeks to the experimental group. In order to assess the impact of the lessons, fruit and vegetable plate waste were gauged prior to and following said lessons. The mean waste from each measurement was compared by means of descriptive statistics and the results from the control and experimental groups were compared to determine the significance of the changes made in the fruit and vegetable intake by the students. Results revealed the children in the experimental group increased their fruit and vegetable consumption after receiving the nutrition education while participants in the control group decreased their intake. The increase in fruit and vegetable consumption after exposure to nutrition education supports the importance of the role of such education within elementary school classrooms.