WISE has proven success in increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables that children and their parents eat at home. Our pilot evaluations measured consumption of fruits and vegetables in two ways:
Children received a Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (RRS) hand scan before the intervention and at the end of the school year. The RRS is a high-tech non-invasive medical tool that allows us to measure skin carotenoid levels. Carotenoids are antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables.
Simple paired t-tests indicate a significant increase in carotenoids by the end of the school year (p=.03, d=.12).
In one Head Start Agency, we interviewed parents of children who had experienced WISE and compared them to parents whose children did not have WISE. Surveys occurred before the intervention and at the end the school year. 175 children were in classrooms that used the WISE program. 155 children did not receive WISE.
Parents whose children were in non-WISE classrooms reported seeing children eat a WISE fruit or vegetable twice per month.
Parents whose children received the WISE program reported the child eating the food four times per month.