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The Development and Psychometric Testing of the Mealtime Emotional Climate in Childcare Observational Scales (MECCOS)

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Jasmin Smith

Co-Principal Investigators: Dipti Dev

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Award Date: Jul 1, 2022

End Date: Jun 30, 2023


This project is part of a larger randomized control study and will include family childcare home providers in the intervention group of the Ecological Approach to (EAT) Family Style program and children ages 3-5 in the classrooms of participating family childcare home providers providers across rural settings in Nebraska.

Data will be gathered through video recording of two mealtimes for each of about 100 rural Nebraska family childcare home providers before participation in the Ecological Approach to (EAT) Family Style program and two mealtimes after completion. Family childcare home providers feeding practices will be measured through providers survey responses. Child-level data will include observation of food consumption by data collectors. 

This project will explore the impact of mealtime emotional climate on childcare providers feeding practices and childrens dietary outcomes. It will adapt previously established observational measures for assessing emotional climate during family meals to assess mealtime emotional climate in family childcare homes. It will also examine the association between mealtime emotional climate and childcare providers feeding practices and childrens dietary intake, and will evaluate the impact of the EAT Family Style program on mealtime emotional climate and childrens dietary intake. 

Early Childhood Education and Development