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Chapter I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

In studying Nutrition, those children with age that ranges from 2 to 6 years old are

considered preschoolers (Tanchoco, 2010).

Preschool children are known to be objecting the food they want to eat based on

its shape, color and texture. Sometimes, they also insist on eating the same foods every

meal (Baby Center, 2016). This common disorder is often known as picky eating and it

may cause poor nutrition because the children may have less nutrient intake than

necessary (Argas, Mascola & Bryson, 2010). A picky eater is described by the toddler or

child eating food in a limited amount, restriction in intake especially of vegetables, lack

of will to try new foods, and with strong food preferences often leading parents to

provide their child a meal different from the rest of the family (Carruth et al, 2004)

Moreover, picky eating can involve excessive intake of beverages such as milk,

fruit juice or sweets that can reduce a child’s appetite for food, displace more calorie- and

nutrient-dense foods and, in some children, may lead to failure to move and participate in

physical activities (Denninson, 1996).

One of the domains of human development is physical development and

preschool children of 3 – 5 years old are exercising their physical development. To

determine if a child is physically developed their gross motor skills can be checked

(Gromisch & Markusic, 2012). According to Children’s Therapy and Resource Center

(2012), gross motor skills are the use of large muscles to be able to perform activities and
functions. Drummond (2012) categorized gross motor skills into balancing skills,

jumping/hopping skills, eye-hand coordination, core strength and general strength.

These skills are very important for survival; also delays in physical development

will result to the child being physically awkward in shape and have low endurance for

daily activities (Kid Sense Child Care Corporation, 2015).

Statement of the Problem and Objectives

There are many researches about the eating patterns of toddlers and preschoolers.

However, there is a lack of research that specifically addresses nutritional adequacy,

nutritional assessment and physical development of preschoolers. Children exposed to

unhealthy foods, children not exposed to healthy foods or children who eat monotonous

food daily may be at risk of delayed physical development. Moreover, there is a need to

understand how nutritional assessments of weight for age, height for age and weight for

height as well as rate of nutritional adequacy affects the elements of physical

development (i.e. balancing, eye-hand coordination, jumping, general strength, and core

strength) especially now that there is a great emergence of fast food chains, instant and

processed foods that are addictive to kids. Also, there is a need to identify whether these

effects are favorable or not. Thus, this study aimed to answer the following questions:

1. What is the nutritional assessment of the respondents?

2. What is the rate of the nutritional adequacy of the respondents?

3. What is the level of balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand coordination

skills, core strength and general strength of the respondents?


4. What is the association of the respondents’ nutritional adequacy rate to their

nutritional assessment?

5. What is the association of the respondents’ nutritional adequacy rate to the

elements of physical development (i.e. Balancing, Jumping, Eye-Hand

Coordination, Core Strength and General Strength)?

6. What is the association of the respondents’ nutritional assessment of weight

for age, height for age and weight for height to the elements of physical

development (i.e. Balancing, Jumping, Eye-Hand Coordination, Core Strength

and General Strength)?

This research study generally aims to determine the relationship of the kinds of

food preschoolers eat to their physical development. Specifically, it aims to:

1. determine the nutritional assessment of the preschoolers;

2. determine the rate of adequacy of preschoolers;

3. determine the level of balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand

coordination skills, core strength and general strength of the respondents;

4. determine the association of the respondents’ nutritional adequacy rate to

their nutritional assessment;

5. determine the association of the respondents’ nutritional adequacy rate to

the elements of physical development (i.e. Balancing, Jumping, Eye-Hand

Coordination, Core Strength and General Strength) and;

6. determine the the association of the respondents’ nutritional assessment of

weight for age, height for age and weight for height to the elements of
physical development (i.e. Balancing, Jumping, Eye-Hand Coordination,

Core Strength and General Strength)

Significance of the Study

This study may be beneficial for both parents and the children. Picky eating is a

common problem especially nowadays that there is a great emergence of fast foods,

instant and processed foods which are very appealing to kids. Not to mention chocolates

and candies. This study will help inform concerned parents and guardians to the possible

effects of the frequent kinds of food the preschoolers eat to their physical development.

As said, proper physical development allow a child to perform daily functions easily and

other functions as well, such as writing, dancing, acting and then can fulfill his/her simple

responsibilities and discover their potentials in life. There is a possibility that the kinds of

food they eat affect their level in balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand coordination,

core strength, general strength and overall gross motor skills.


Chapter II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Characteristics of Preschoolers

Usual Food Intake of Preschoolers

The diet for preschool children is designed to include a variety of foods with

different textures and flavors provided throughout the day. The diet aims to promote

optimal growth and to meet child’s developmental and behavioral needs. The food given

should be nutrient-dense since child’s nutritional requirements for growth are great. In

selection of foods, selection must focus on good sources of vitamin A and C, protein, iron

and calcium. However, children of this age are prone to influences which affect their

decision in food. These influences determine the likes and dislikes, habit and food intake

of the child that can be brought about later in life. The major influences on food intake in

developing years are family environment, social trends, media, illness and disease

(Tanchoco, 2010).

Factors that Lead Children into Picky Eating

Another problem common to preschool children is picky eating. Picky eaters

generally refuse to eat and exhibit a lack of interest in food and eat slowly and, in some

cases, have a reduced appetite. Reason behind this picky eating may be associated with

children experiencing a growing sense of independence. Refusing food can be a way of

asserting themselves. Also, picky eating may be acquired when there is a big or sudden
change in a child’s life and environment, example of which is moving houses, starting a

playgroup or the birth of a sibling (Vaswani, 2015).

Nutritional Assessment of Preschoolers

Nutritional Adequacy of Preschoolers

Importance of Proper Nutrition to Preschoolers

Physical Development of Preschoolers

The testing of gross motor skills of preschoolers is one way to test their physical

development. According to Children’s Therapy and Resource Center (2011), gross motor

skills involve the use of the larger and stronger muscle groups of the body to perform

daily functions. Drummond (2012) stated that the gross motor skills have elements such

as balancing skills, jumping/hopping skills, eye-hand coordination, core strength and

general strength.

Balancing skills involves the maintenance of the control of a certain body position

without affecting the ability to perform a certain task. Balanceability (2015) stated that

balancing can be categorized into either static or dynamic; static balancing are activities

that involve the maintenance of the control of the position while being stationary on the

other hand, dynamic balancing involves the maintenance of the control of the position

while moving. Jumping/hopping skills involve the act of transferring weight from one or

both feet to both feet. According to Sport New Zealand Organization (n.d.) jumping has

can be divided into three divisions namely, taking-off, flying and landing. Eye-hand

coordination skills involve the ability of the vision system to be in coordination to the

information coming from the eyes to be able to control, guide and direct the hands to

accomplish work (Laberg, 2015). Core strength involves the use of the deep muscles for
the provision of support to the head, neck and trunk (Frick & Kawar, 2004). Lastly, the

general strength involves the ability to use overall body strength to be able to perform a

certain activity or function (Yessiss, 2006).

Effects of Poor Nutrition to the Physical Development of Preschoolers

Importance of Proper Physical Development of Preschoolers

Poor physical development that started in the childhood years may remain and

may result in a physically inactive adolescent and adulthood. The reason behind this is

when a mover is competent in his/her movements, there will be an increase in

engagement physical activities (Pica, 2008). It was also stated that a child who has

awkward movements will cause incoordination and avoidance in physical activities that

would help develop his or her gross motor skills further. This in turn may lead to

different kinds of health hazards because of the state of being unfit. The health hazards

include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other risks. Development of gross motor

skills is indeed just as important as teaching language skills (Pica, 2008). Unlike

underdevelopment of language, underdevelopment of gross motor skills is rare and can

be difficult to detect. If a child is a bit awkward and uncoordinated in his movements

compared with other children with the same age, it could be due to slight motor delays or

poor motor coordination (Markusic & Gromisch, 2012) or to limited opportunities for

active play.
Chapter III

STUDY FRAMEWORK

This research would like to determine the association of nutritional

adequacy rate and the nutritional assessment of the preschoolers; the association of

nutritional adequacy rate and the elements of physical development and; the association

of nutritional assessment and the elements of physical development.

FIGURE 2
Conceptual framework on the nutritional adequacy rate, nutritional assessment and physical
development of preschoolers
Chapter IV

Methodology

Research Design

The research will be descriptive-associative. The research will describe the

nutritional adequacy rate, nutritional assessment (weight for age, height for age and

weight for height) and the physical development of preschoolers such as their level in

balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand coordination, core strength and general

strength.

The research will also determine the association of nutritional adequacy rate and

nutritional assessment of the respondents. In addition to that, the correlation of nutritional

adequacy rate and scores in balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand coordination, core

strength and general strength as well as the correlation of nutritional assessment (weight

for age, height for age and weight for height) and scores in balancing skills, jumping

skills, eye-hand coordination, core strength and general strength will be correlated.

Concepts and Indicators/Variables and Measures

The nutritional adequacy rate of the respondents will be measured through the

total calorie intake gathered from three (3) non-consecutive day 24-hour food recall (2

weekdays, 1 weekend) based from Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipino Children

of 1 – 6 years old (FNRI, DOST). The nutritional assessment will be measured through

anthropomorphic assessment in weight, height and age of the respondents. The index that

will be used for weight for age, height for age and weight for height is ______________.
Also, the research will use balancing skills, jumping skills, eye-hand coordination,

core strength and general strength ratings of the children as indicators in determining the

development of gross motor skills of preschoolers. The physical development survey will

use a five-point Likert scale (5 – strongly agree, 2 – argee…) to measure a parent’s

agreement on whether a child can perform the activities listed.

TABLE 1
Definitions table of the categories used to measure the level of gross motor skills of the respondents

Category Definition

This option means that the parent/guardian of the respondent strongly believes that
the child can perform the activity. It can also mean that the parent/guardian of the
Strongly Agree respondent always sees the child perform the activity

This option means that the parent/guardian only partly believes that the child can
perform the activity. It can also mean that the parent/guardian frequently sees the
Agree child perform the activity.

Neither Agree or This option means that the parent/guardian of the respondent isn’t familiar with the
Disagree given activity or doesn’t know whether the child can or cannot perform the activity.

This option means that the parent/guardian of the respondent only partly believes
that the child cannot perform the activity. It can also mean that the parent/guardian
Disagree rarely sees the child do the activity.

This option means that the parent/guardian strongly believes that the child cannot
perform the activity. It can also mean that the parent/guardian never sees the child do
Strongly Disagree the activity.

Research Instruments

In the nutritional adequacy the researcher will conduct a 24-hour food recall for

three (3) non-consecutive days, 2 weekdays and 1 weekend to the respondents. And the

adequacy score will be based from Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipino Children

of 1 – 6 years old (FNRI, DOST, 2000). On the other hand, in the nutritional assessment

the researcher will conduct an anthropomorphic assessment to the respondents and will
use ________ index to interpret it. Lastly, the physical development of the respondents

will be based from a secondary data from an undergraduate thesis entitled: Relationship

of Violence-depicting Cartoons to the Development of Gross Motor Skills of

Preschoolers by Napoles, 2015.

TABLE INTERPRETATION

Unit of Analysis and Sampling

The research will use complete enumeration of Kinder I – Prep students with ages

2 – 6 as respondents from Los Baños Faith Christian School: a total of 46 respondents.

The student list will be categorized into grade level and age. Only those that

satisfy the age of 2 – 6 and Kinder I – Prep school level will be chosen to participate in

the study.

The locations of the study are because their distances are strategic to the school of

the researcher.

Data Gathering Procedure

A letter will be sent to the principal of Los Baños Faith Christian School. When

approved, the 24-hour food recall and anthropomorphic assessment will be conducted.

On the other hand, the physical activity questionnaire has been conducted from an

undergraduate thesis entitled: Relationship of Violence-depicting Cartoons to the

Development of Gross Motor Skills of Preschoolers by Napoles, 2015.


Data Analysis

The total calorie intake of the preschoolers will be recorded and will be based

from the Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipino Children of 1 – 6 years old (FNRI,

DOST, 2000). The weight, height and age of the preschoolers will be recorded and

plotted into WHO Anthro Software to determine the weight for age, height for age and

weight for height of the preschoolers. Lastly, the researcher will determine the

respondents’ level in balancing skills, jumping/hopping skills, eye-hand coordination,

core strength, general strength and overall gross motor skills through a secondary data

from an undergraduate thesis entitled: Relationship of Violence-depicting Cartoons to the

Development of Gross Motor Skills of Preschoolers by Napoles, 2015.

All of the variables used in the research such as nutritional adequacy rate and

nutritional assessment will be correlated with balancing skills, jumping/hopping skills,

eye-hand coordination, core strength, general strength and overall gross motor skills

using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analysis. The correlation coefficients will be

interpreted using Guilford’s suggested interpretations for values of r (Table 2).

TABLE 2
Guilford’s Suggested Interpretations for Values of r

r Interpretation

< 0.20 slight; almost negligible relationship

0.20 – 0.40 low correlation; definite but small relationship

0.40 – 0.70 moderate correlation; substantial relationship

0.70 – 0.90 high correlation; marked relationship

> 0.90 very high correlation; very dependable relationship


Chapter V
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Socio-demographic Characteristics of the Respondents

Sex Profile

FIGURE 2
Percentage of respondents by sex

Males
44%
Females
56%

Age Profile

FIGURE 3
Percentage of respondents by age

Aged 3
13%

Aged 4
23%
Aged 5
64%
Nutritional Adequacy

Nutritional Assessment

Physical Development of Respondents

Balancing Skills

FIGURE 7
Histogram of the frequency of the balancing skill score of preschoolers
35

30
Number of Respondents
25

20

15

10

0
< 33 34 - 36 37 - 39 40 - 42 43 - 45 46 - 48 49 -51 52 - 54 55 - 56 57- 59 60
Balancing Skill Score

Jumping/ Hopping Skills

FIGURE 8
Histogram of the frequency of the jumping/hopping skill score of preschoolers
20
18
Number of Respondents

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
< 33 34 - 36 37 - 39 40 - 42 43 - 45 46 - 48 49 -51 52 - 54 55 - 56 57- 59 60
Jumping/Hopping Skills Score

Eye-hand Coordination

FIGURE 9
Histogram of the frequency of the eye-hand coordination score of preschoolers
60
Number of Respondents
50

40

30

20

10

0
< 34 35 - 37 38 - 40 41 - 43 44 - 46 47 - 49 50 - 52 53 - 55
Eye-Hand Coordination Score

Core Strength

FIGURE 10
Histogram of the frequency of the core strength score of preschoolers

30
Number of Respondents

25

20

15

10

0
< 33 34 - 36 37 - 39 40 - 42 43 - 45 46 - 48 49 -51 52 - 54 55 - 56 57- 59 60
Core Strength Score

General Strength
FIGURE 11
Histogram of the frequency of the general strength score of preschoolers
60

Number of Respondents 50

40

30

20

10

0
< 34 35 - 37 38 - 40 41 - 43 44 - 46 47 - 49 50 - 52 53 - 55
General Strength Score

Nutritional Adequacy and Nutritional Assessment

Nutritional Adequacy and Physical Development

TABLE 3
Pearson’s Moment correlation of the intake of everyday-labeled foods to skills score of the
respondents

Skills r

Balancing Skills .22

Jumping/Hopping Skills .10

Eye-hand Coordination .07

Core Strength .14

General Strength .14

Overall Gross Motor Skills .20

TABLE 6
Pearson’s Pearson’s Moment correlation of the intake of select carefully-labeled foods to skills
score of the respondents

Skills r

Balancing Skills .22

Jumping/Hopping Skills .10

Eye-hand Coordination .07

Core Strength .14

General Strength .14

Overall Gross Motor Skills .20

Occasionally-labeled Foods and Skills

TABLE 6
Pearson’s Pearson’s Moment correlation of the intake of ocassionally-labeled foods to skills
score of the respondents

Skills r

Balancing Skills .22

Jumping/Hopping Skills .10

Eye-hand Coordination .07

Core Strength .14

General Strength .14

Overall Gross Motor Skills .20

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