Assessment of Feeding Practices and Mealtime Environments in Australian Family Day Care Services

Publication Name

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior


Objective: Assess educators’ feeding practices and mealtime environments in family daycare services and examine the factors associated with educators’ feeding practices and mealtime environments. Methods: Cross-sectional observational study of family daycare services (n = 33) in Australia. Best practices for mealtime environments and educator feeding practices were assessed during each mealtime using the Environment Policy Assessment and Observation instrument. Correlates assessed via survey included: socioeconomic status, main language spoken at home, early childhood career experience, and nutrition professional development. Descriptive statistics and independent t tests were calculated. Results: Educators typically had higher scores, indicating better practices, for (the absence of) negative practices compared with positive practices. The only positive practice meeting best-practice standards was educators sitting with children during the meal. There were no significant correlations for educators’ feeding practices or mealtime environment. Conclusions and Implications: Educators may benefit from professional development targeting positive feeding practices and supportive mealtime environments.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)