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Table 3 Director attitudes regarding nutrition, staff, parents and children in the childcare center (n = 292)

From: The food and activity environments of childcare centers in Rhode Island: a directors’ survey

Question All centers (%) CACFP (%) Non-CACFP (%) p value*
  SA A D SD SA A D SD SA A D SD  
Directors
ᅟI believe it is important to offer healthy foods to children in my care 79.4 20.6 -- -- 80.6 19.4 -- -- 79.7 20.3 -- -- 1.000
ᅟI believe it is important to let children see me enjoying the same healthy foods they are eating 69.8 27.4 2.8 -- 71.4 25.7 2.9 -- 71.0 26.1 2.9 -- 1.000
ᅟI am concerned that enrollment will drop if I begin serving healthier snacks and meals -- 0.9 43.9 55.1 -- 0.0 41.7 58.3 -- 1.5 44.9 53.6 .8922
ᅟI believe it is important to communicate with parents regarding nutrition 47.2 50.9 1.9 -- 50.0 50.0 0.0 -- 44.1 52.9 2.9 -- .7174
ᅟI discuss with parents if lunches or snacks sent in are not healthy. 25.0 57.3 15.6 2.1 25.9 55.6 11.1 7.4 25.0 58.8 16.2 0.0 .2160
ᅟIt is difficult to encourage children of a variety of ethnic backgrounds to eat the food at the center -- 47.2 50.9 1.9 -- 25.0 63.9 11.1 -- 10.0 65.0 25.0 .0709
ᅟI am concerned about wasting food because the children won’t eat healthy food 2.8 16.0 61.3 19.8 5.6 13.9 66.7 13.9 1.5 17.7 57.3 23.5 .3846
ᅟHealthy foods are available at the store where I do my food shopping 75.0 23.6 1.4 -- 53.9 42.3 3.8 -- 86.7 13.3 0.0 -- .0047
ᅟI am able to identify healthy foods to prepare 83.3 16.7 -- -- 65.4 34.6 -- -- 93.3 6.7 -- -- .0061
ᅟI use the nutrition facts on food labels to make purchasing decisions 59.1 29.6 11.3 -- 42.3 46.2 11.5 -- 68.2 20.4 11.4 -- .0747
ᅟI compare prices among healthy foods. 62.8 31.4 2.9 2.9 46.1 46.1 3.9 3.9 72.1 23.3 2.3 2.3 .0920
ᅟI often choose a less healthy option because it is more affordable 4.2 14.1 45.1 36.6 8.0 12.0 44.0 36.0 2.2 15.6 46.7 35.6 .7503
Staff
ᅟOn average my staff has very limited or no education or training in nutrition 2.9 16.4 51.9 28.8 0.0 8.8 61.8 29.4 4.4 20.6 45.6 29.4 .2434
ᅟNutrition education is regularly offered to the staff 9.5 48.6 36.2 5.7 17.1 60.0 22.9 0.0 5.9 42.6 42.6 8.8 .0161
ᅟStaff members sit with the children during snacks and meals 63.6 30.8 4.7 0.9 52.8 44.4 2.8 0.00 71.0 21.7 5.8 1.5 .0765
ᅟStaff members rarely eat the same foods and have the same drinks as the children 15.4 26.9 44.2 13.5 11.4 22.9 45.7 20.0 17.9 26.9 44.8 10.4 .5351
ᅟThe staff at my center are highly motivated to serve healthy foods to the children 44.2 51.0 3.8 1.0 35.3 58.8 5.9 0.0 48.5 47.1 2.9 1.5 .4659
ᅟChildren are encouraged to finish the food on their plate 9.4 50.9 30.2 9.4 5.6 47.2 33.3 13.9 11.8 52.9 27.9 7.4 .5194
Parents
  SA A D SD SA A D SD SA A D SD  
ᅟParents demand that their children be served healthy foods 8.7 42.7 40.8 7.8 5.6 50.0 33.3 11.1 10.8 40.0 44.6 4.6 .3537
ᅟParents care more about the quantity of food that their children are eating 4.1 27.5 60.2 8.2 6.1 42.4 45.4 6.1 3.1 20.3 67.2 9.4 .0853
ᅟParents care more about the quality of food that their children are eating 14.3 58.2 25.5 2.0 6.2 59.4 34.4 0.0 18.5 58.5 20.0 3.0 .1909
ᅟSnacks and meals supplied by parents are checked to make sure that they meet the nutrition standards of the facility 18.7 44.8 29.2 7.3 23.1 42.3 23.1 11.5 17.6 45.6 30.9 5.9 .6452
ᅟFrom conversations with parents and children, it seems that parents are knowledgeable about healthy foods to serve to children 10.7 61.2 22.3 5.8 3.0 45.5 39.4 12.1 14.7 67.7 14.7 2.9 .0029
ᅟFrom conversations with parents and children, it seems that parents reinforce nutrition education at home 6.9 52.5 31.7 8.9 0.0 35.5 45.2 19.3 10.3 60.3 25.0 4.4 .0028
ᅟIt seems that parents are concerned about the quality of fruits and vegetables 8.6 40.9 41.9 8.6 0.0 40.0 46.7 13.3 12.9 41.9 38.7 6.5 .1251
ᅟWhen parents bring outside meals for their children, the food brought in is often healthy. 7.3 60.4 22.9 9.4 0.0 42.3 34.6 23.1 10.1 68.1 17.4 4.4 .0028
Children
  SA A D SD SA A D SD SA A D SD  
ᅟChildren like to try new foods 11.4 61.9 25.7 1.0 14.7 61.8 20.6 2.9 10.1 63.8 26.1 0.0 .4378
  N R S O N R S O N R S O  
ᅟChildren are involved in structured nutrition education (based on lesson plans, books, experiential activities -- 7.6 46.2 46.2 -- 2.8 42.7 54.3 -- 10.1 46.4 43.5 .3525
ᅟChildren are involved in cooking activities and hands-on sensory food experiences 2.8 6.5 45.8 44.9 0.0 8.3 55.6 36.1 4.3 4.3 40.6 50.7 .2402
  1. SA Strongly Agree, A Agree, D Disagree, SD Strongly Disagree, N Never, R Rarely, S Sometimes, O Often
  2. *p value indicates Fisher’s Exact Test differences between the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and non-CACFP distributions for each variable
  3. --indicates no responses in that category