Influences of the family and childcare food environments on preschoolers' healthy eating

Julia Tysoe, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    THE STUDY EXTENDS CAMPBEL, Crawford and Ball's (2006) findings that the family food environment influences eating in children by examining whether young children's food intake at home is also influenced by the childcare food environment. Participants were 103 parents of children aged three to five years who attended childcare centres in South Australia. Centres had either obtained the 'Start Right Eat Right' (SRER) nutrition certification; an award associated with compliance with the government's healthy eating guidelines, or had not attained certification with SRER. Participating parents completed a questionnaire measuring the family food environment as well as a food frequency questionnaire that recorded children's intake of 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' foods. Parents of children at SRER centres reported that their children ate more healthy food choices at home, as measured using the food frequency questionnaire, than parents of children attending non-SRER accredited centres. Pressure to eat, parental modelling, monitoring and perceptions of adequacy of a child's diet were all associated with children's eating. The results suggest that childcare centres, in addition to the family environment, can have an important role to play in developing healthy dietary choices in preschool children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-110
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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