Staff Workshop Improves Child Care Center Menus in South Central Texas: A Best Food for Families, Infants, and Toddlers (Best Food FITS) Intervention

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017 May;49(5):435-440.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.02.002.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of an educational workshop for child care center staff to improve menus.

Methods: Staff from 18 centers attended a nutrition educational workshop that included an activity that compared center menus to MyPlate standards. Four weeks of menus collected before and after the workshop were imported into SuperTracker; the Food Details report produced menu data clustered by day and center. Changes in pre-post menus were assessed using Healthy Eating Index scores and the SAS software macro, MIXCORR.

Results: After the workshop, there was a lower probability that fruit juice (P = .03) and starchy vegetables (P = .004) and a higher probability that non-starchy vegetables (P < .001) and whole grains (P = .004) were on menus; amounts of refined grains (P = .004), savory snacks (P < .001), and cheese (P = .004) were significantly lower. Total Healthy Eating Index scores improved after the workshop (P = .009).

Conclusions and implications: Comparing 4 weeks of menus revealed menu changes. Workshop interventions show promise for improving children's health.

Keywords: Healthy Eating Index; MyPlate; child; child day care centers; intervention; menus; overweight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Day Care Centers*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education
  • Faculty / education
  • Health Education* / methods
  • Health Education* / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Menu Planning*
  • Nutritional Sciences / education
  • Texas