Advertisement

P109 Responsive Feeding During COVID-19: Evaluation of a Specialized Training for ECE Providers and Stakeholders.

      Background

      Practicing family style meal service in early care and education (ECE) settings supports children's autonomy and improves self-regulation of energy intake. However, during COVID-19, CDC passed a directive to ECE to pause family style meal service. Therefore, we conducted an ECE webinar focused on how to feed children responsively during plated meal service to help providers support children's autonomy and self-regulation.

      Objective

      To evaluate changes in the level of understanding, behavioral intention to implement knowledge, and confidence about how to feed children (2-5 years) responsively during plated meal service. Also, to determine need for future training opportunities.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Retrospective pretest-posttest study. The webinar was advertised through an email newsletter disseminated by a national-level platform, Penn State Extension Better Kid Care. Participants attended the online webinar for 1 hour on August 11, 2020, had access to an Extension publication (http://bit.ly/3pnJ71X) and responded to a follow-up survey (Qualtrics Link: http://bit.ly/3jMWvvv). Participants identified themselves as either ECE providers (n = 77) or other stakeholders (n = 30), who can offer opportunities or guidance to providers.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Change in self-reported evaluation score (range 1 = low to 7 = high) for understanding, behavioral intention to implement knowledge, and confidence about how to feed children responsively during plated meal service. Paired sample t tests (alpha = 0.05) followed by Sidak-Bonferroni correction (adjusted P = 0.007).

      Results

      Both providers and stakeholders reported significantly higher (P < 0.001) level of understanding, intention to implement knowledge obtained, and confidence regarding implementing responsive feeding during plated meal service after the webinar compared to before the webinar. Participants expressed need for online nutrition trainings with emerging themes such as feeding infants, safe food preparation and storage, flexibility of CACFP rules, and physical distance during meals.

      Conclusion

      Intentional mealtime conversations, giving children small tasks supporting their autonomy, and setting clear expectations while adjusting mealtime routines can offer a promising avenue for implementing responsive feeding during plated meal service.
      Funding

      Appendix. Supplementary data