Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Australian trainee childcare educators regarding their role in the feeding behaviours of young children

Penelope Love, Melissa Walsh, Karen J. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Early childhood (2–5 years) is acknowledged as a critical time for the establishment of healthy behaviours. The increasing number of children and amount of time spent in childcare provides strong rationale to explore the important role that childcare services and childcare educators play in influencing healthy eating behaviours of young children in their care. Methods: This study used a qualitative exploratory approach to describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Australian childcare trainee educators’ regarding their role in the feeding of young children. Results: All participants agreed that feeding of young children was an important part of their role, but described challenges to the promotion of healthy eating and the adoption of responsive child feeding practices. These included personal beliefs and experiences with food, the bi-directional nature of child feeding, conflicting parental requests and/or unsupportive centre-based policies and procedures. Conclusion: Training about responsive child feeding practices within the childcare sector should include all childcare staff; aim to enhance relational efficacy and communication skills with parents; and empower childcare staff to lead organisational change. To support this, childcare centres need to provide coherent centre-based healthy eating policies inclusive of healthy food provision and desirable feeding practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3712
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Australian trainee childcare educators regarding their role in the feeding behaviours of young children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this