Virginia Stage, PhD, RDN, LDN

Virginia Carraway-Stage

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition Science
College of Allied Health Sciences
East Carolina University
Health Sciences Building 4310J
Greenville, NC 27834

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


  • BS Nutrition & Dietetics (2006) East Carolina University
  • Dietetic Internship (2007) East Carolina University
  • MS Nutrition (2008) East Carolina University
  • PHD Nutrition Science (2013) North Carolina State University

Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

  1. Dev, D., Stage, V., Schober, D.J., Kok, C.M., & McBride, B.A. (XXXX). Providers’ Perceptive on Implementing Nutrition Education in Child Care. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Accepted July 2017.
  2. Stage, V., Wilkerson, K.**, Hegde, A., Lisson, A.**, Babatunde, T., & Goodell, L.S. (2017). Head Start Administrator and Teacher Perceptions of Parental Influence on Preschool Children and Nutrition Education. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 1476718X17705415
  3. Peterson, A.**, Stage, V., Dev., D., Hegde, A., & Goodell, S. (2017). Teacher Perceptions of Multilevel Policies and the Influence on Nutrition Education in North Carolina Head Start Preschools. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 49(5), 387-396.
  4. Lisson, S.**, Dev, D., Wilkerson, K., Goodell, S., & Stage, V. (2016). Availability and Use of Nutrition Education Resources in North Carolina-based Head Start Preschool Programs. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 48(9), 655-663. DOI:10.1016/j.jneb.2016.07.016
  5. Goodell, S., Stage, V., & Cooke, N.K. (2016). Practical qualitative research strategies: training interviewers and coders. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 48(8), 578-585. Epub Jul 7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.06.001
  6. Roseno, A., Carraway-Stage, V., Geist, G., & Duffrin, M. (2014). Exploring Sunflower Seeds: A thematic approach to science Inquiry for young children. Young Children, 70(3), 88-91.
  7. Carraway-Stage, V., Spangler, H.**, Borges, M.**, & Goodell, S. (2014). Evaluation of a Pictorial Method to Assess Fruit and Vegetable Preference among Preschool Children. Appetite, 75, 11-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.12.011
  8. Carraway-Stage, V., Henson, S.R.**, Dipper, A.**, Spangler, H.**, Ash, S.L., Goodell, S. (2014). Understanding the State of Nutrition Education in the Head Start Classroom: A Qualitative Approach. American Journal of Health Education. 45, 52-62. DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2013.853000

For a full list of publications: