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A Needs Assessment of the Educational Needs of Child Care Educators in the Promotion of Healthy Eating in the Child Care Setting

  • Author / Creator
    Arguelles Lopez, Alejandra
  • Child care utilization in Canada has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Child care centres provide opportunities for the promotion of healthy eating habits among a great number of young children. Child care educators play a major part in the promotion of healthy eating and behaviour change in children. However, there is room for improving the promotion of healthy eating in child care centres and by child care educators. Furthermore, there is a need for programs aimed at promoting healthy eating, with a special emphasis on child care educators in the child care setting. The two main aims of this research were to conduct a needs assessment through: 1) a consultation with key informants in the child care sector to explore and identify the educational needs of child care educators in the promotion of healthy eating in child care; and 2) a rapid review of interventions designed to promote children’s consumption of vegetables and fruits in child cares. First, a cross-sectional online survey was used to consult with a group of key informants on their perceptions of and recommendations for child care educators’ educational needs in the promotion of healthy eating in child cares. Second, a rapid review methodology was used to guide a literature review on interventions aimed at promoting children’s consumption of vegetables and fruits in child care centres. Through the consultation with key informants, this study found there is a need for further training of child care educators in the promotion of healthy eating. In addition, other influential factors need to be addressed to enhance the promotion of healthy eating in child care centres. The rapid review revealed that comprehensive healthy eating interventions targeting children, parents, child care staff and the centre’s food environment were more successful than single interventions in promoting healthy eating in child care centres. The findings of this research bring insight into what is needed for the promotion of healthy eating in child cares, and what are the most effective approaches to promote healthy eating in this setting. The findings from the needs assessment will inform the development of future programs aimed at promoting healthy eating in child cares.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R36M33K79
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.