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Research indicates that healthful eating and physical activity (PA) practices implemented in child-care settings can have a positive effect on children’s healthful behaviours in this setting, and this effect on healthful behaviours may possibly transfer to the home environment. While more research is needed to examine whether behaviours learned in family child-care homes (FCCH) transfer, the potential for transferability is especially important given that Latino children’s home environment has been characterized by obesogenic parenting practices. We aimed to examine Latino parents’ perceptions of their pre-school children’s eating and PA experiences at home and at FCCH.
Qualitative study. Six focus groups were conducted in Spanish (n 36). Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis to identify key concepts and themes.
Analyses revealed that Latino parents perceive their children have healthier eating and PA experiences at FCCH than at home. Parents attributed this to FCCH providers providing an environment conducive to healthful eating and PA due to providers having more knowledge and skills, time and resources, and being required to follow rules and regulations set by the state that promote healthful eating and PA.
Understanding parental perceptions, attitudes and practices related to establishing and maintaining an environment conducive to children’s healthful eating and PA at home and at the FCCH is essential for the design of successful interventions to promote children’s healthful behaviours in these two settings. Given that parents perceive their children as having more healthful behaviours while at FCCH, interventions that address both settings jointly may be most effective than those addressing only one environment by itself.
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