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

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-25, 00:00 authored by Penny LovePenny Love, M Walsh, Karen CampbellKaren Campbell
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.

History

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

17

Issue

10

Article number

3712

Pagination

1 - 19

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, The Author(s)