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Urban preschool teachers’ nutrition beliefs, mealtime practices, and associations with training

Objective: To examine preschool teachers’ nutrition-related beliefs and practices and explore associations with Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS) training. Design: Causal-comparative study using a post-only, cross-sectional survey exploring teachers’ nutrition-related beliefs and mealtime practices. Setting: New York City preschools serving low-income children. Participants: Ethnically diverse preschool teachers (n = 660), 420 (response rate 90.4%) with EWPHCCS training and 240 (response rate 57.1%) without training. Main Outcome Measures: Teachers’ beliefs about their preschool nutrition environments and compliance with recommended mealtime practices. Analysis: Analysis of variance and hierarchical linear modeling. Results: Overall, teachers reported generally favorable beliefs about their preschool nutrition environments and compliance with recommended mealtime practices. EWPHCCS teachers reported more favorable scores on beliefs and practices than nontrained teachers. Teachers who were not parents reported significantly lower scores on beliefs and practices than teachers who were parents. White teachers and the least experienced teachers reported the lowest scores on compliance with mealtime practices. Conclusions and Implications: EWPHCCS training was associated with higher scores on both beliefs and practices. However, school-level policy and leadership may also be important. Providing specific training for preschool directors and addressing food quality may further improve teachers’ nutrition-related attitudes, beliefs, and practices. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
New York

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