Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of



Dipti A. Dev

Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 48:9 (2016), pp. 655–663. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.07.016


Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier, Inc. Used by permission.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to provide new insight into common barriers to the availability and use of nutrition education (NE) resources in Head Start preschool programs based on administrator and teacher perceptions.

Methods: In-depth, semistructured phone interviews (n = 63) were conducted with administrators (n = 31) and teachers (n = 32) from North Carolina–based Head Start programs. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed qualitatively using content analysis to identify common themes.

Results: Five emergent themes were identified within the areas of NE resource availability and use and barriers to NE resource availability and use. Participants expressed desire for greater organization of existing NE material resources, increased community support, and professional development opportunities for teachers specific to NE. Funding and time constraints were reported as affecting NE resources.

Conclusions and Implications: Creative strategies for addressing NE resource availability and use and barriers (e.g., NE integration with educational standards) in Head Start are needed.