Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health Programs for Young Children in Child Care Centers

Team Mentor:

Dr. Katherine Cason, Professor
Dept. of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences
Director for the Center for Healthy Living, and Director for EFNEP

Childhood obesity, poor nutrition and limited physical activity are major health concerns. Unfortunately, poor health is more often found in limited resource and minority children audiences, who have limited access to educational opportunities.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a federally funded program, which operates in all 50 states and 6 U.S. territories.  Over the last 40 years has made a difference in the lives of their participants: low-income families with youth and low-income youth, toward the promotion of healthy lifestyles and obesity prevention.  Just in South Carolina reaches more than 9000 low-income youth and children each year from school settings, after-school programs and summer camps. 


  • Integrate teamwork, research experience, and creativity to enhance the evaluation method of Youth EFNEP.

Topic: National Youth Nutrition Survey Development by Creative Inquiry Students

Abstract: The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is designed to assist limited resource audiences on their knowledge and behavior related to diet and nutritional well-being. In order to enhance the current evaluation methods, six universities from across the country have joined efforts to develop and test impact evaluation tools for their youth audience. Creative Inquiry students were actively involved in one of the most important stages of this project. Cognitive interviews identify potential problems that might lead to survey response error, and further better these tools off the audience responses. Students conducted these interviews with a sample of ethnically diverse children from South Carolina (n=15). Data collection results will be analyzed using Nvivo. Collaboration between creative inquiry undergraduate students, graduate students and an advisory panel was fundamental to successfully achieve this step of the EFNEP evaluation tool development process.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Kattia Blanco (
Catalina Aragón (
Yenory Hernández-Garbanzo (

Fall 2011 Team Members
Susan Bowles
Allie Converse
Taylor Corley
Abby Davis
Sarah Gilbertson
Brittney Linton
Julia Scheider
Emmy Watson
Brianna Williams
Breanna Willis

Spring 2012 Team Members
April Beckett
Elizabeth Bennett
Heather Britt
Susan Bowles
Rylie Carpenter
Abby Davis
Karli Hogsed
Hayden Whitworth
Brianna Williams

CI Team Students showing vegetables