New study demonstrates feasibility of online nutrition training for family child care home providers

Feb 17, 2023

Licensed family child care homes (FCCH) provide child care in individual homes, are often located in the same neighborhood as the families they serve and often provide longer hours of care at a lower cost than child care centers. New research shows that a self-paced, online nutrition training for FCCH providers has the potential to make childhood nutrition guidance more accessible and may help bridge a potential regulatory gap: licensed FCCHs in California not currently participating in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program only receive one hour of mandatory nutrition training if licensed after 2016—leaving out nearly 30,000 providers licensed before 2016 who provide care to over 310,000 children—and are not required to offer foods and beverages that meet nutrition standards. The training—available in both English and Spanish and free of cost to California-based providers—consists of four 20-minute interactive models providing guidance on what and how to feed infants and toddlers. Child care providers reported high levels of satisfaction, as well as an intention to make changes in feeding practices, after completing a pilot-test of the online training. Findings also identified a need for culturally relevant information and a live nutrition educator to discuss the training material. The research article was published in the California Agriculture journal and authored by Danielle Lee, Ron Strochlic, and Lorrene Ritchie from the Nutrition Policy Institute, Deepa Srivastava and Marisa Neelon from the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Abbey Alkon and Victoria Keeton from UC, San Francisco and the California Childcare Health Program. The project was funded by a grant from UC ANR.

By Katherine Lanca
Author - Graduate Student
By Danielle L. Lee
Editor - Director of Communications & Research Engagement
By Lorrene Ritchie
Editor - Director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist