Objective: To highlight opportunities for future nutrition intervention research within early childhood and education care (ECEC) settings, with a focus on generating evidence that has applicability to real-world policy and practice. Methods: An overview of opportunities to progress the field was developed by the authors using a collaborative writing approach and informed by recent research in the field. The group developed a list of recommendations aligned with the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. Pairs of authors drafted individual sections of the manuscript, which were then reviewed by a separate pair. The first and senior author consolidated all sections of the manuscript and sought critical input on the draft iterations of the manuscript. Results: Interventions that employ digital platforms (reach) in ECEC settings, as well as research in the family day care setting (effectiveness) were identified as areas of opportunities. Research understanding the determinants of and effective strategies for dissemination (adoption), the implementation of nutrition programs, in addition to de-implementation (implementation) of inappropriate nutrition practices, is warranted. For maintenance, there is a need to better understand sustainability and the sustainment of interventions, in addition to undertaking policy-relevant research. Conclusions: The ECEC setting is prime for innovative and practical nutrition intervention research.
Yoong SL, Jones J, Pearson N, Swindle T, Barnes C, Delaney T, et al.