Nutrition education interventions to improve child healthy eating behaviors often rely on caregivers to support these behaviors at home, yet it is difficult to engage caregivers in interventions.
To explore communication preferences of low-income Hispanic female caregivers of preschoolers on preferred content and delivery of nutrition education to augment a child-focused classroom-based nutrition literacy program.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Qualitative interviews (n = 25) in Spanish with Hispanic female caregivers of 3- to 5-year-old children in Washington, D.C., area. Audio-recorded phone/Zoom interviews transcribed verbatim in Spanish and translated into English. Transcripts coded using NVivo v12. Two coders independently developed codebook (ICR = 89%), reconciled discrepancies with PI, and identified themes and subthemes within them between codes.
Caregivers’ mean age was 35.5 ± 6.3, 72% had high school education or less, 64% were receiving the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. Caregivers resided in the US 13.6±4.4 years, and 88% spoke Spanish only or Spanish better than English.
Four themes were identified: Preferred Content of Nutrition Information (subthemes: Wanting to Know What Foods are Healthy for the Child, Desire to Learn Feeding Strategies for Vegetables), Delivery Methods (subthemes: Digital Messages: Videos, Texts, and Social Media; Printed Information; In-Person Nutrition Classes; Recipes), Educators as Sources of Nutrition Information, and Cultural Customs and Family Feeding. Caregivers indicated a desire to receive nutrition education via printed methods, in-person classes, and text messages. This group also asked for detail about how foods nourish preschoolers, as well as strategies and recipes to make healthy foods - especially vegetables - appeal to children.
Themes that emerged show nutrition content preferences are focused on vegetable feeding strategies as well as providing clarity about what foods are healthy for preschoolers. Delivery methods themes reveal that a multi-pronged approach is key to meeting this population where they are - electronically, in person, and in print.