FP6 Supporting Healthy Habits in Childcare with Online Trainings for CACFP Participants


      To develop interactive and engaging online trainings for CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) participants, based on adult learning principles and instructional strategy, including audience analysis, and formative evaluation of knowledge gained. The modules support healthy habits in childcare homes and centers.


      A training needs assessment of CACFP participants, completed as part of the Iowa Team Nutrition 2017 grant, revealed menu planning and healthy food purchasing were topics of greatest interest. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist wrote content for the modules and Iowa Public Television provided instructional design consultation on best practices for adult learners; online course template with discussion board; knowledge assessments; video production; and certification procedures. Healthy Menu Makeover and Healthy Food Purchasing modules were developed, including lesson content, assessments, graphics, links to resources, and certificates of completion. The modules were pilot tested by 10 CACFP participants who provided valuable feedback to make the modules relevant to users. The total budget for the project was $13,500. The modules are available at no cost, can be completed at the participant's own pace and accessed anywhere with an internet connection.


      The modules were released in April 2018 and certificates earned through December 2018 included 516 for Healthy Menu Makeover and 288 for Healthy Food Purchasing. A participant is allowed to take a final quiz up to three times to reach a passing grade of at least 80% correct. Demographic survey results report 51% of users are from centers and 38% are home providers.

      Conclusions and Implications

      The online modules have been a popular and effective training option to meet CACFP training requirements in Iowa. Lessons learned include the value of a needs assessment to determine training topics, implementation of an instructional design process, use of an online learning platform, and use of discussion boards to engage learners.
      Grant Year: 2017

      Appendix. Supplementary data