Research Findings

The LANA Preschool Program began with a study conducted by The Minnesota Department of Health through a grant from The National Cancer Institute. The goal was to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in young children by giving them more opportunities to taste, eat and enjoy them on a daily basis. Countless scientific studies have shown that encouraging healthy eating habits at a young age may prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes later in life.

Who
The study was originally conducted with preschool children, their parents, and staff in twenty child care centers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota.

Results
Comparing children that participated in the LANA Program to those that did not, it was found that those involved in the LANA program ate significantly more vegetables at lunch as well as more total fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Total vegetable intake was significantly higher at follow-up. Other results showed that the LANA program:

  • Increased consumption of targeted fruits and vegetables in the childcare setting
  • Increased servings of fruits and vegetables at home
  • Reduced “pickiness” and fear of trying new foods


In addition, as a result of the LANA program:

  • 76% of providers offer fruits and vegetables more often at snack time
  • Parents offer targeted foods more often (81%)
  • Parents are more likely to complement their children for tasting a new food (58.7%) and are more likely to say something positive about the food their child is eating (60%)

In 2009, 75 licensed home childcare providers in Dakota County (MN) were surveyed. They reported that after implementation of LANA, children in their care were:

  • More likely to eat fruits (67%)
  • More likely to eat vegetables (78%)
  • More likely to try new food (92%)
What makes the LANA program important?
Studies suggest that eating habits and food preferences are established in early childhood. By educating and actively encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption both at school and at home, LANA helps children establish healthy eating habits early.Why is the LANA program unique?
The LANA Preschool Program is based on well-established nutrition education and behavior-change theories. LANA helps children learn to eat more fruits and vegetables by:

  • Increasing opportunities for children to taste and eat fruits and vegetables
  • Providing opportunities for hands-on experiences with fruits and vegetables
  • Creating a supportive environment for eating fruits and vegetables
  • Providing children with role models who eat fruits and vegetables
  • Connecting classroom activities with the home environment

 

The LANA Curriculum is aligned with both NAEYC  (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and Head Start Early Learning Framework. Click below to view the accreditation documents.