Start Date: November 2009

ID #: 66957

Principal Investigator: Marlene Schwartz, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator: Kathryn Henderson, PhD

Organization: Yale University

Funding Round: Round 4

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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.

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