Leeds Metropolitan University is set to study parents’ choices in providing packed lunches for their children for new research for child nutrition.
The project, led by Dr Hannah Ensaff from the University’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, will seek to gain insight into parents’ knowledge of their children’s diets through the development of an online questionnaire for parents of primary school age children.
Dr Ensaff, a Research Fellow in childhood obesity and child nutrition, explained: “School packed lunches can play an important part in children’s nutrition, with children spending 190 days of the year at school. More significantly they provide a link between the home and school and can represent a family’s provision of food. Packed lunches have also been identified as a factor in children’s diet, and have been highlighted with respect to the drive for school food reform.
“Our study will provide insight into parents’ attitudes and knowledge towards their children’s diets. Such knowledge is critical and will reveal gaps in our understanding and allow us to identify areas for support. With the current high prevalence of childhood obesity and children’s diet high in saturated fat and sugar, along with low fruit and vegetable consumption, this research has the potential to make a real impact.”
Analysing the results of the questionnaire will help researchers to understand parents’ choices when it comes to providing packed lunches for their children, and will contribute towards the development of a resource for parents in providing nutritious packed lunches.
The questionnaire is live and open to parents with children in primary school (both having school dinners and packed lunches). It is available at