Promoting healthy food education for elementary school children at post Merapi eruption area of Cangkringan district, Yogyakarta, Indonesia: A quasi experimental study using ‘learning with fun’ approach

Agnes Erida Wijayanti, Lely Lusmilasari, Mora Claramita


Background: Knowledge and attitudes towards healthy food intake influence the growth and development of school-aged children. Cangkringan district of Yogyakarta, Indonesia was the worst area affected by the Mount Merapi eruption in 2010 and has a long-term consequence of less healthy food available for school-age children. This study aimed to determine the effect of health education to increase knowledge and attitudes towards healthy food intake for elementary school children at Cangkringan.

Methods: Respondents of this study were 338 elementary school children (134 boys and 204 girls, ages between 8-10 years old) at Cangkringan. There were 20 elementary schools involved and participants were divided into 36 groups to make small groups of 6 to 8 students. Interventions of this study involved serial health education via ‘learning with fun’ approach using a student-centered learning method. The authors developed all tools and instruments based on the guidelines from The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). We analyzed the knowledge and attitude of the subjects after administering a pre and posttest using paired t-test and Wilcoxon range test.

Results: The results showed significant increase of knowledge and attitudes towards healthy food intake (p < .001 for both knowledge and attitude) of all subjects in this study.

Conclusions: Health education using ‘learning with fun’ method may increase knowledge and attitudes of elementary school children. Furthermore, a series of cooking-classes as a student-centered learning approach, which emphasized contextual, collaborative and constructive methods of learning served well to increase motivation and satisfaction of the students to learn about healthy food.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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