African American and Latino Low Income Families’ Food Shopping Behaviors: Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Use of Alternative Healthy Food Options
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Minority families often reside in neighborhoods with few supermarkets or alternative healthy food options (e.g., farmers markets, community gardens), making fresh produce difficult to obtain. This qualitative study identified factors influencing fruit and vegetable shopping and use of alternative healthy food options. Forty-eight minority women with children completed interviews regarding food shopping habits and use of and attitudes toward alternative healthy food options. Interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. Produce shopping was motivated by costs and family preferences. For African American women, poor cooking skills restricted the variety of fruits and vegetables purchased. Latinas were receptive to alternative healthy food options, but did not use them because these sources were inconvenient. African American women were not receptive to them. Improving cooking skills and perceptions of acceptable foods may be as important as increased access to promote greater consumption of fruits and vegetables.