Who We Are
Our team of nutrition education professionals and child development researchers, led by Dr. Dipti Dev, are based out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Together, we provide professional development for child care programs for implementing evidence-based responsive feeding practices with children ages 2-to 5-years-old.Meet Our Team
Dr. Dipti Dev is currently an associate professor in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) since January 2014. She is also an Extension Specialist for Child Health Behaviors. She completed her Ph.D. studies in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Dev has been working with childcare providers for 12 years to understand their needs and challenges for using nutrition-related best practices with children in their care.
To be a leading resource for child care programs in establishing positive mealtimes and fostering healthy habits in young children.
To empower child care programs to implement responsive feeding practices through interactive, web-based professional development.
Healthy lifestyles are shaped early in a child’s life. Learning to eat healthfully is a process that begins when a child is very young (around six months old) and continues as a child grows. By role modeling healthy habits and using other best practices during this time, child care providers can shape children’s eating habits early on.
Child care staff play an important role in influencing children’s eating and behaviors. Children who attend child care programs often eat several meals and snacks each day at the program. This provides child care staff with excellent opportunities to eat with the children, build relationships with them, and help shape their eating habits for years to come.
Creating positive relationships with food starts around the table. There is no better time to teach children to enjoy healthy foods than while they are eating them. Meals are also a great time for building relationships. Using positive, responsive feeding practices and communication is fundamental in supporting children’s autonomy.
Connections between families and child care staff are vital to fostering children’s healthful development. Child care programs can engage with and educate families about the importance of serving healthy foods to children and using responsive feeding practices.When child care staff and families work as partners to promote children’s nutrition, children receive consistent messages at home and in childcare.