Integration of nutrition-related components by early childhood education professionals into their individual work with children at risk

Ron Shor*, Adina Friedman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Poor nutrition is a major risk factor affecting proper development of children. However, there is limited knowledge about the way in which this subject is being integrated into professionals' work in early childhood education programs dealing with situations of children-at-risk. A study on this subject was conducted with 60 professionals who participated in a program for advanced studies in early childhood education. The findings indicate that in their work with children-at-risk, about half of the participants reported that they put less emphasis on nutritionrelated components than on psychosocial-educational components. The two most frequent barriers noted to integrating the subject of nutrition were deficiency of knowledge and lack of financial support within the agencies. Participants attributed a high level of importance to integrating nutrition-related components in their work, although only a few reported that they collaborate with or refer children and their families to nutrition specialist. Education and training programs need to provide professionals in early childhood education with a knowledge base sufficient to enable them to reduce the barriers to integrating nutrition-related components in their individual work with children at risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Volume179
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Body–Soul Project of Ashalim, the Association for Planning and Development of Services for Children and Youth at Risk and Their Families JDC Hill, PO Box 3489, Jerusalem, 90134, Israel.

Keywords

  • Children at risk
  • Early childhood education
  • Nutrition
  • Professionals

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