Dr. Stage's research focuses on childhood overweight prevention by improving early childhood teachers' food and nutrition education strategies when working with children (birth-5 years) and their families. Food and nutrition education strategies of interest includes hands-on integrative learning activities and feeding/mealtime practices.
Current and past research in Dr. Stage's
Food-based Early Education (FEEd) Lab has focused on:
- Examining the influence of teachers' background (e.g. knowledge, attitudes, health behaviors, prior experience with food) on the food and nutrition education strategies implemented in their classrooms
- Influence of teachers' feeding/nutrition education strategies on young children's food consumption/preferences and learning eating behaviors
- Understanding communication between teachers and parents related to young children's food consumption/preferences and eating behaviors
- Influence of the teacher/parent relationship (specifically related to food/nutrition) on children's food consumption/preferences and eating behaviors in the classroom environment
- Influence of local, state, and federal policy (e.g. CACFP) on the food and nutrition education strategies teachers use with young children and families
- Development of food-based curricular and teacher professional development resources focused on integrative food and nutrition education for young children (birth-5 years) and families
Dr. Stage uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine these areas within environments primarily serving low-income, minority populations, such as Head Start.