Nutrition and Dietetics


Sebelia, Linda

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Sciences




Nutrition; Education; Pre-School Nutrition; Written Communication


As nutrition topics continue to gain media attention the general public is increasingly exposed to nutrition recommendations. The mass communication of health information presents increased education opportunity to promote implementation of healthy habits. In contrast, this increased presence also presents a risk of increased communication of information unsupported by scientific evidence. As these unreliable recommendations are communicated with frequency through popular sources it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to provide the public with accurate and scientifically supported information. This information must be presented in a clear and appealing way in order to gain the attention of the public, helping to educate and make recommendations to support healthy habits that are realistic and maintainable.

Young children grow and learn in an environment constantly surrounded by these forms of mass communication, making education vital to instill healthy habits that can maintained as they grow up. This project provided a healthy foundation for pre-school age children by educating their parents through a series of newsletters providing information on topics related to nutrition for pre-school aged children.

Newsletter topics were chosen to reflect the education needs of parents as were identified through a focus group. This focus group was hosted at Oakland Beach School, in Warwick RI, and was composed of eight parents of pre-school age children. The evidence collected through the focus group reflected the need for information on many nutrition-related topics. Strong focus-group evidence and additional research further identified the need for education in the specific areas chosen as the newsletter topics. The topics chosen included: Overcoming picky eating, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and planning meals in advance.

Research on these topics was gathered and presented through printed newsletters that were designed to be fun and easy to understand. These newsletters included information, helpful tips, healthy recipes, and activities intended to educate both parents and children. The development of these newsletters required scientific facts to be interpreted and communicated at an 8th grade reading level, which is recommended for education of the general public. These newsletters also included activities for the parents to complete with their children, allowing them to learn and work together. The presentation of the information and activities was designed to draw in the reader and create a clear understanding of the topics conveyed. By educating parents through these newsletters they will have tools to educate and empower their children to make healthy choices throughout their lives.

Planning Ahead Final Newsletter.pdf (510 kB)
Planning Ahead Newsletter

Picky Eating Final Newsletter.pdf (900 kB)
Picky Eating Newsletter

Fruits and Vegetables Final Newsletter.pdf (3669 kB)
Fruits and Vegetables Newsletter

Complete Focus Group Transcript.docx (39 kB)
Complete Focus Group Transcript