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Change in Knowledge of Kindergarten Employees Participating in the Course “Diet full of life” in the Field of Children’s Nutrition, as Assessed by Generalized Estimating Equations

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Nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors affecting the physical development and health of children. Education in this area and the development of proper eating habits are priorities. A prerequisite for the proper nutrition of preschool children is knowledge of proper nutrition of people working there. The aim of this study was an evaluation of the knowledge of kindergarten employees participating in the course “Diet full of life – courses in the field of children’s nutrition”. The study included 90 employees of nurseries and kindergartens, participants of the course in the field of children’s nutrition. The research tool was an original questionnaire. Study I (pre-test) was performed before the beginning of the course, while study II (post-test) was performed after its completion. Generalized Linear Models with a Generalized Estimating Equations extension was used to estimate the impact of the number of covariates on knowledge of course participants, taking into consideration the correlation between before- and after-course results. An increase in the knowledge of the participants of the investigated course on children’s nutritional standards was significant and reached 2.053 points on average. No relationship between age, job position, and knowledge level was determined. In the area of principles of proper nutrition for children, older participants had a lower level of knowledge compared to younger ones, and participants with higher education showed a significantly higher knowledge increase as compared to those with vocational education. A significant knowledge increase in the field of dietary behaviors of children was obtained during the course by all examined women, 1.6 points on average (p < 0.001). Younger participants obtained significantly more knowledge from the course than older ones (p < 0.001). Thus, it can be concluded that realization of the course entitled “Diet full of life” specifically relating to young children’s nutrition affected a significant increase in participant knowledge, particularly among the younger age groups and people with higher education. Kindergarten employees need constant supplemental education in the form of training courses, during which they acquire actual knowledge given in an accessible manner for use in practice. The proper assessment of the supplemental education course presented herein, as well as of the course participants, was performed using General Estimating Equations.

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Philosophy, other