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Describe nutrition and physical activity practices, nutrition self-efficacy and barriers and food programme knowledge within Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) and differences by staffing.
Baseline, cross-sectional analyses of the Happy Healthy Homes randomised trial (NCT03560050).
FCCH in Oklahoma, USA.
FCCH providers (n 49, 100 % women, 30·6 % Non-Hispanic Black, 2·0 % Hispanic, 4·1 % American Indian/Alaska Native, 51·0 % Non-Hispanic white, 44·2 ± 14·2 years of age. 53·1 % had additional staff) self-reported nutrition and physical activity practices and policies, nutrition self-efficacy and barriers and food programme knowledge. Differences between providers with and without additional staff were adjusted for multiple comparisons (P < 0·01).
The prevalence of meeting all nutrition and physical activity best practices ranged from 0·0–43·8 % to 4·1–16·7 %, respectively. Average nutrition and physical activity scores were 3·2 ± 0·3 and 3·0 ± 0·5 (max 4·0), respectively. Sum nutrition and physical activity scores were 137·5 ± 12·6 (max 172·0) and 48·4 ± 7·5 (max 64·0), respectively. Providers reported high nutrition self-efficacy and few barriers. The majority of providers (73·9–84·7 %) felt that they could meet food programme best practices; however, knowledge of food programme best practices was lower than anticipated (median 63–67 % accuracy). More providers with additional staff had higher self-efficacy in family-style meal service than did those who did not (P = 0·006).
Providers had high self-efficacy in meeting nutrition best practices and reported few barriers. While providers were successfully meeting some individual best practices, few met all. Few differences were observed between FCCH providers with and without additional staff. FCCH providers need additional nutrition training on implementation of best practices.
To describe the modification and validation of an existing instrument, the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO), to better capture provider feeding practices.
Modifications to the EPAO were made, validity assessed through expert review, pilot tested and then used to collect follow-up data during a two-day home visit from an ongoing cluster-randomized trial. Exploratory factor analysis investigated the underlying factor structure of the feeding practices. To test predictive validity of the factors, multilevel mixed models examined associations between factors and child’s diet quality as captured by the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) score (measured via the Dietary Observation in Childcare Protocol).
Family childcare homes (FCCH) in Rhode Island and North Carolina, USA.
The modified EPAO was pilot tested with fifty-three FCCH and then used to collect data in 133 FCCH.
The final three-factor solution (‘coercive control and indulgent feeding practices’, ‘autonomy support practices’, ‘negative role modelling’) captured 43 % of total variance. In multilevel mixed models adjusted for covariates, ‘autonomy support practices’ was positively associated with children’s diet quality. A 1-unit increase in the use of ‘autonomy support practices’ was associated with a 9·4-unit increase in child HEI-2010 score (P=0·001).
Similar to the parenting literature, constructs which describe coercive controlling practices and those which describe autonomy-supportive practices emerged. Given that diets of pre-schoolers in the USA remain suboptimal, teaching childcare providers about supportive feeding practices may help improve children’s diet quality.