Pediatric produce prescription initiatives in the U.S.: a scoping review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pediatric research








BACKGROUND: To describe pediatric Produce Prescription (PRx) interventions and their study designs, outcomes, and opportunities for future research. METHODS: A scoping review framework was used to describe PRx interventions published between January 2000 and September 2023. Articles from online databases were uploaded into Covidence. Data on study characteristics, outcomes of interest (health, food insecurity (FI), nutritional and culinary efficacy, and fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption), and feasibility were extracted. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used for quality assessment. RESULTS: 19 articles met inclusion criteria. Ten studies were quantitative, five were qualitative, and four used mixed-methods. Interventions included food vouchers (n = 14) or food box/pantries (n = 5). Four studies allowed food items in addition to F/Vs. Six studies measured changes in FI and five reported a statistically significant decrease. Seven studies measured changes in F/V consumption and five reported a statistically significant increase. One study reported a statistically significant reduction in child BMI z-score. Most studies reported high feasibility. Few studies used high-quality methods. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric PRx interventions show promising potential to reduce FI and improve diet quality and health-related outcomes. Future studies should utilize rigorous study designs and validated assessment tools to understand the impact of pediatric PRx on health. IMPACT: This work offers a summary of programmatic outcomes including retention, redemption, incentives, nutrition education, study design and quality limitations to help inform future work. We found positive impacts of pediatric produce prescriptions (PRx) on FI, F/V consumption, and nutritional knowledge and culinary skills. More high-quality, rigorous studies are needed to understand the best delivery and design of PRx and their impact on child behavior and health outcomes. This work provides support for the need for rigorous studies and the potential for PRx to play a role in multi-pronged strategies that address pediatric FI and diet-related disease.