Staff Workshop Improves Child Care Center Menus in South Central Texas: ABest Food for Families, Infants, and Toddlers(Best Food FITS) Intervention

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the efficacy of an educational workshop for child care center staff to improve menus.

Methods:

Staff from 18 centers attended a nutrition educational workshop that included an activity that compared center menus to MyPlate standards. Four weeks of menus collected before and after the workshop were imported into SuperTracker; the Food Details report produced menu data clustered by day and center. Changes in pre-post menus were assessed using Healthy Eating Index scores and the SAS software macro, MIXCORR.

Results:

After the workshop, there was a lower probability that fruit juice (P = .03) and starchy vegetables (P = .004) and a higher probability that non-starchy vegetables (P < .001) and whole grains (P = .004) were on menus; amounts of refined grains (P = .004), savory snacks (P < .001), and cheese (P = .004) were significantly lower. Total Healthy Eating Index scores improved after the workshop (P = .009).

Conclusions and Implications:

Comparing 4 weeks of menus revealed menu changes. Workshop interventions show promise for improving children's health.

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