Testing Modifications in Child-Care Settings to Promote Nutritional Quality in the Context of Food Insecurity
The combination of obesity amidst food insecurity presents unique challenges to improving nutrition and feeding policies in institutions serving children. The aim of this study is to evaluate child care nutrition and feeding policies designed to decrease excess caloric consumption in the context of food insecurity and obesity. In this project, three intervention strategies will be evaluated among preschoolers in CACFP participating centers, including: (a) serving vegetables/fruits to children before the rest of the meal, (b) keeping low-energy dense foods on the table during the meal so children can serve themselves, while high-energy dense foods remain nearby but not visible, and (c) simultaneously applying strategies (a) and (b). This work also seeks to develop and disseminate a conceptual paper examining feeding strategies from both childhood obesity and food insecurity perspectives to facilitate communication and understanding between stakeholder groups; assess caregiver concerns about eating to further effective communication with caregivers; analyze the costs of three tested intervention strategies compared to traditional family style service; and host a Webinar and conduct stakeholder interviews with food security advocates and child care experts.
National data show that preschool-age children in the U.S. do not eat the recommended amount of whole fruit and vegetables (FV). Child-care settings are an important place to influence children’s diets, since over 80 percent of preschool-age children receive care outside the home, and many children eat most of their … More
The WellSAT, created in 2005, is a leading measure used to assess the quality of written school wellness policies. The aim of the present study is to update the WellSAT to a 3.0 version based on current science and psychometric assessments to reflect the 2016 final federal rule from the … More
Child care providers are a vital part of healthy, thriving communities. Over half of children between the ages of zero and five spend significant time in non-parental child care. These early years are critical for healthy brain development and establishing the habits that last a lifetime. Laws and policies shape … More