Nutrition standards can be implemented by family child care home providers

Jan 27, 2021

Approximately 2 of every 3 children in the US spend time in child care settings where they consume much of their daily nutrition. Improving the foods and beverages offered in child care settings is a known childhood obesity prevention strategy. Researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute published a new study suggesting family child care home providers can successfully implement nutrition standards for infants and young children after completing a brief educational intervention. Family child care homes are of particular interest for obesity prevention efforts given few nutrition standards exist in California's childcare licensing regulations for these providers, and limited studies have been conducted in these settings. The pilot study included 30 licensed family child care home providers in California who spoke English or Spanish. Providers were enrolled to participate in a 2-hour in-person training on food and beverage standards and feeding practices for both infants and children in English or Spanish in 2017. Providers' adherence to the infant and child nutrition standards increased after the training, and few providers rated the standards as difficult to implement. The training was highly rated by providers. The study was published in January 2021 in the journal Global Pediatric Health. Study results are also available online in the form of a research brief. Co-authors include Lorrene RitchieDanielle Lee, and Klara Gurzo of the Nutrition Policy InstituteVictoria Keeton and Abbey Alkon of the UCSF School of Nursing and California Childcare Health ProgramLauren Au of the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, and Elyse Homel Vitale of the Child Care Food Program Roundtable, previously with Nourish California at the time the study was conducted. The study was funded by a grant from the David & Lucille Packard Foundation.

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement