Eating Ability and Nutritional Status of Preschool Children in Preschool Children Development Centers, Bang Khen, Bangkok
Keywords:Eating Ability, Nutritional Status, Preschool Children
The objectives of this research were: 1) to investigate the eating ability of
preschool children in preschool children development center and 2) to assess nutritional
status of preschool children. Subjects were 179 preschool-children from 5 preschoolchildren
development centers in Bang Khen, Bangkok. The amounts of children’s food
eaten were collected using food record and the observation on eating ability. Body weight
and height of children were also measured. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics,
one-way ANOVA was applied to determine significant mean differences in nutrient intake
among children groups.
In the study, 76.0 percent were 1-3 years old and 24 percent were 4 years old.
Boys accounted for 55.9 percent. Lunch and snack between meals were served each day
at the Preschool Children development centers. Children: 71.5 percent were able to finish
and 28.5 percent requested additional portions. Average energy and nutrient intakes from
the lunch and snacks provided energy: 357.21+113.93 kcal, protein: 14.34+4.38 gm, fat:
14.54+4.68 gm, and calcium: 261.43+80.20 mg. The results demonstrated that preschool
children could consume protein and calcium intakes which were 78.4-83.7% and
34.2-54.9% of the Thai DRI. However, lower calcium intake, 34.2% DRI, was obsevered in 4
year-old children and lower vitamin C intakes, 11.7-13.6% DRI, were lower in both children
age groups. Regarding nutritional status, it as found that 66.5, 68.2 and 67.6 percent of
children had optimum weight for height, weight for age and height for age values and 90.5
percent had an optimum head circumference for age value. The nutritional status values
varied significantly (p<0.05) among the centers.