Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies


Purposes of this study were to describe the nutrient intake of upper elementary children by age and sex and to demonstrate criterion-related validity for the performance device, What I Usually Eat (National Dairy Council and Iowa State University, 1980). The device was designed to be used by teachers as an alternative method for estimating children's food intake;The parents of the 67 fourth and sixth graders who participated in the study kept detailed 7-day food records of their children's food intake. Female students comprised 55% of the sample. Average daily intakes of nutrients were calculated by age-sex groups. Nutrient intakes were compared to the 1980 Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) (Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council);Carbohydrates, iron, and calcium were the nutrients most often found below the 1980 RDA. Individual RDA for protein and vitamin A were over 100% for all subjects. Meal patterns differed from snack patterns with less nutrient-dense and higher sugar content foods being eaten for snacks;The participating children responded to the performance device at school. They selected from 40 food cards, displayed on a pegged board, those foods that were representative of what they would typically eat in one day. Their parents responded to the device during a personal interview. The 40 food cards represented foods from the Basic Four Food Groups, used as the standard, and a group of foods not making significant nutrient contributions that were designated as other;Parents' and childrens' device scores and mean dietary intake of each child were calculated by food group from the individual 7-day food records. These responses were compared by food group using a two-way analysis of variance. Orthogonal comparisons using t-tests were computed between parent-child device scores and parent-child device scores/reported intake scores;A significant difference between parent-child means for the fruit/vegetable group was noted. Parent-child/reported scores differed significantly for all food groups. The children were more accurate in estimating reported intake than their parents in the critical areas of fruit/vegetable and milk consumption. These responses demonstrate criterion-related validity for the device;What I Usually Eat provides one measure of what children eat. Use of the device enables teachers to identify areas of possible nutrient insufficiency and to teach to these needs.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Janis Bennington Van Buren



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100 pages