Evaluation of a nutrition education program at the Dutch out-of-school care during summer holidays

Marieke C.E. Battjes-Fries, Femke A. Hoefnagels. 2023. Evaluation of a nutrition education program at the Dutch out-of-school care during summer holidays. In: European Public Health Conference 2023. Dublin. 33, Issue Supplement_2
Pagina's / pages: 1
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Taal/language: Engels
Abstract / summary in English:


School-based nutrition education has increasingly been used to teach children about nutrition. With over half a million children attending out-of-school care in the Netherlands, this might be a suitable setting for nutrition education as well. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation of the program ‘Spoony's Gezonde Smikkelweken’ for out-of-school care among staff and parents.


The program consists of 4 cooking, play and eating activities, a home-workbook and an online platform to promote vegetable consumption during the holidays. In July 2022, 585 out-of-school care locations for 4-12 year-olds across the Netherlands implemented the program. All locations received digital questionnaires to be distributed among the staff and parents on appropriateness, implementation, appreciation and perceived effects. Also semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 employees for more detailed feedback.


The questionnaire was filled out by 410 employees before the program and by 327 employees and 79 parents after the program. The 4 activities were implemented by 77%-96% of the locations. The staff was generally positive about the program; easy to fit into their daily routine (90%), suitable for the children (82%), well-organised (92%) and willing to implement it again (99%). Besides, they reported a higher number of children willing to taste vegetables after the program than before (57% vs. 37%) and vegetables eaten more often as a snack and at lunch (+17%). A majority of the children took the workbook home (82%) and did one or more activities from it (84%). Parents were generally positive about the program (4.6±0.8) and the attention to healthy eating at this setting (99%).


This program has been successfully received by staff and parents as a suitable form of nutrition education at out-of-school care. Despite a low response rate among parents, it appeared promising to also reach children's home situation.

Key messages

  • Nutrition education provided by out-of-school care seems suitable, similar as provided at schools.
  • Spoony’s ‘Gezonde Smikkelweken’ appeared a suitable program for Dutch out-of-school care.

The poster-presentation of the abstract can be downloaded here.

Keywords in English: nutrition education, Gezonde Smikkelweken, vegetable consumption, out-of-school care