Nutrition and Physical Activity Environments of Home-Based Child Care: What Hispanic Providers Have to Say

Child Obes. 2015 Oct;11(5):521-9. doi: 10.1089/chi.2015.0040. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


Background: It is important to understand the perceptions and beliefs of family child care providers (FCCPs) regarding which factors influence children's physical activity (PA), screen-time (ST), and dietary behaviors in order to develop and implement appropriate obesity prevention interventions. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the aforementioned perceptions and beliefs of FCCPs in Rhode Island.

Methods: Four focus groups (n = 30) were held with FCCPs. Providers were female, Hispanic, and Spanish speaking. Providers were asked about different aspects of feeding, PA, and ST behaviors. Themes were coded using NVivo10 (QSR International Pty Ltd, Doncaster, Victoria, Australia). Content analysis was used to analyze final themes.

Results: Providers understood the importance of providing opportunities for healthy eating and PA for the children they cared for, but there was room for improvement, especially with regard to certain feeding and ST practices. Several barriers were evident, including the lack of physical infrastructure for PA, cultural beliefs and practices related to child feeding, and difficulties working with parents to provide consistent messages across environments.

Conclusions: Given that FCCPs are aware of the importance of healthy eating and PA, there is a need to address the specific barriers they face, and operationalize some of their knowledge into practical everyday actions. This formative work will inform the development of a culturally relevant, multicomponent intervention for ethnically diverse FCCPs to improve the food and PA environments of their homes, which should, in turn, improve the dietary, PA, and ST behaviors of the 2- to 5-year-old children they care for.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Care / methods*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Preferences
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Parenting* / ethnology
  • Parenting* / psychology
  • Pediatric Obesity / ethnology
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology
  • Social Environment