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Educators reported positive attitudes and high self-efficacy towards providing a healthy eating environment. Over‐provision of discretionary foods at childcare dilutes the nutritional quality of diets for children. However, evaluation results demonstrated disparity between reported knowledge and behaviours, such as high self-efficacy, and those observed, such as poor quality menu plans.
The Meeting recognized that good nutrition is fundamental for children’s current and future health, as well as their development and learning.
The benefits of developing healthy dietary and lifestyle patterns from an early age onwards can positively impact on people’s nutrition and health throughout their adult lives, and enhance the productivity of individuals and nations.
Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine self-regulation in EFNEP participants and its relationship to participants change in dietary behavior.
All participants were currently enrolled in an EFNEP program and were asked to complete an additional self-regulation survey.
The findings of this research phase informed the design and development of a website to increase child care staff nutrition knowledge and confidence in providing a healthy eating environment, facilitating ongoing continuous improvement in their professional development.
Discussion boards to promote a sense of community and provide ‘information wrapped in support’ were a key website feature.
However, food served in child care facilities is often not of the best nutritional quality (Zuercher, Grace, & Kranz, 2011) and there is lack of positive role modelling among staff.
Both of these factors pose obstacles to a health-promoting environment for the children who attend.
Guided by the Spiral Technology Action Research model (H.
Skinner, Maley, & Norman, 2006), a health promotion project management tool, these findings informed the development of the website, “Supporting Nutrition in Australian Childcare” (SNAC), containing a range of resources, recipes, discussion boards and links.