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The current academic literature suggests there is a potential for using gardening as a tool to improve children’s fruit and vegetable intake. This study is two parallel randomised controlled trials (RCT) devised to evaluate the school gardening programme of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening, to determine if it has an effect on children’s fruit and vegetable intake.
Trial One will consist of 26 schools; these schools will be randomised into two groups, one to receive the intensive intervention as “Partner Schools” and the other to receive the less intensive intervention as “Associate Schools”. Trial Two will consist of 32 schools; these schools will be randomised into either the less intensive intervention “Associate Schools” or a comparison group with delayed intervention. Baseline data collection will be collected using a 24-hour food diary (CADET) to collect data on dietary intake and a questionnaire exploring children’s knowledge and attitudes towards fruit and vegetables. A process measures questionnaire will be used to assess each school’s gardening activities.
The results from these trials will provide information on the impact of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening on children’s fruit and vegetable intake. The evaluation will provide valuable information for designing future research in primary school children’s diets and school based interventions.