A digital program informs low-income caregivers of preschool-age children about family meals

J Nutr Educ Behav. May-Jun 2012;44(3):256-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.09.003. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


Objective: To evaluate the digital program, Mealtime is Family Time, as a means of educating caregivers of preschoolers on the importance of family meals within the division of feeding responsibility framework.

Methods: Descriptive design using 2 approaches: focus group program review and discussion or self-report survey after independent program review in low-income venues. All participants completed an inventory of child feeding practices.

Results: About 75% of feedback survey respondents (n = 147) found the program understandable, easy to read, and helpful and expressed interest in child cues of hunger and satiety. Focus group findings corroborated program utility and were congruent with need for division of feeding responsibility implementation. For example, 39% of respondents reported that children must always or often taste mealtime food.

Conclusions and implications: Education about family meals and child feeding is critical; Mealtime is Family Time was well received by this low-income audience. Further development to measure practice of the division of feeding responsibility is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Family*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Sciences / education
  • Poverty