Publication Details

Nolan-Clark, D., Neale, E. & Charlton, K. (2014). Exploring barriers to fresh and total pork consumption among children: parental perspectives: 3B-108 Report prepared for the Co-operative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork. Australia: Pork CRC.

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The Final Report


Pork represents a core food in the diet which provides key nutrients such as protein, thiamin and selenium. Analysis of a large, nationally representative dietary survey of Australian children identified that half of the children reported consuming pork, but this was generally in the form of processed pork such as ham and bacon. Fresh pork was not commonly included in their diets [1]. To identify barriers to fresh pork consumption in children, six semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with 31 parents or carers of children aged 2 - 16 years who consumed meat (mean age of parents was 42.5 y (range = 27-57 y), and mean age of their children was 8.4 years). A number of key themes emerged from the focus groups in relation to fresh pork intake, namely: a lack of confidence and knowledge relating to the preparation and cooking of fresh pork; poor acceptability of fresh pork by some children due to taste and texture; influence of family and cultural traditions on pork consumption; low visibility and perceived availability of pork in comparison to other meats; and a perceived high cost of value-added pork products. Parents reported that pork was an acceptable meat to include in children's meals and there was an overall perception that fresh pork was a healthy meat, because of its leanness. In contrast, several participants discussed concerns relating to the high sodium and/or fat content of processed pork products including ham, bacon and cured pork products. Despite these nutrition-related concerns, processed pork products were seen as easy and convenient foods that were well accepted by children.