Reports & Resources


Kelly E, Rossiter MD, Mann L. Assessment of Impact: The Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings in Nova Scotia. Nutrition Standards in Child Care Project, Mount Saint Vincent University. December 2015.

Following the release of the Nova Scotia  Standards and Guidelines for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings in 2011, the Nutrition Standards in Child Care Project (NSCCP) was launched to explore any influence the Standards and Guidelines may have on the eating behaviours of young children in both regulated child care settings and the home environment.

NSCCP Project Report, 2016

NSCCP Research Team. Nutrition Standards in Child Care Project: NAP-Q: Descriptive Visuals and Summary. NSCCP, MSVU. December 2014.

Child care centre directors were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experiences related to the Standards and Guidelines as well as suggestions for supports for nutrition and physical activity education and for staff, parents and children.  This report summarizes the quantitative and qualitative data.

NAP-Q Descriptive Visuals and Summary Report, 2014

NS Department of Health and Wellness Active Living Branch, NSCCP (MSVU), and Allied Research Collaborations for Health (Dalhousie University). Report of the Movement and Physical Activity Promotion in Regulated Child Care Centres Project, December, 2015.

As a follow-up to the NSCCP, we engaged in an assessment of the barriers and supports for physical activity in regulated child care centres. This report describes the findings and is intended to generate conversation around how to approach positive change so that young children in regulated child care are optimally supported in their physical development and physical health.

Physical Activity in Regulated Child Care Centres Report, 2016


Government of Nova Scotia. (2011). Manual for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings. Halifax, NS: Government of Nova Scotia. Retrieved from:

Above is the Manual for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings. Sections include the Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings, Guidelines for Food and Nutrition for Regulated Child Care Settings, and Food and Beverage Criteria for Regulated Child Care Settings.

Child Care Centre Menu Project

The Child Care Centre Menus Project is intended for the provision of nutritious meals and snacks necessary for the optimum health and growth of the young children in their care. The website shares creative and appealing menus that can contribute towards the acceptance of a variety of new foods and lifelong healthy eating habits.


Almaatani D, Mann L, Kelly E, Rossiter M. Responsive feeding practices and healthy eating behaviours in children.  American International Journal of Contemporary Research, in press June 1, 2017.

Parenting styles and feeding practices influence child eating behaviors. Using a qualitative method with a responsive feeding lens, this study explored the feeding practices described by a sample of parents of young children between the ages of 3-5 years. Findings indicated that although parents hoped their child(ren) would develop a lifelong healthy relationship with food and for the most part understood responsive feeding, their confidence and ability to consistently practice responsive feeding was influenced by their child(ren)’s behavior, previous experiences, family and friends, and their own beliefs about food and feeding.

Responsive Feeding Practices and Influences, 2017

Mann L, Power D, MacLellan V. (2013). Development of menu planning resources for child care centres: A collaborative approach, Canadian Children, 38(2), 34-40.

Well-designed menus in child care centres plan for nutritious meals and snacks necessary for the optimum health, growth and lifelong healthy eating behaviours of the young children in their care. These resources are available on the Child Care Centre Menu Project website ( The utility of the resources should be transferable to other provincial child care centres, elementary schools, or even licensed senior care facilities with minor adaptations.

Childcare Centre Menu Planning, 2013

Goulden, A.L. (2017). Breastfeeding mothers’ experiences with infant feeding: An interpretive phenomenological analysis (Master of Arts Child & Youth Studies, MSVU). Retrieved from

The objective of the qualitative research study was to learn about the infant feeding experiences of mothers with infants in child care centres. Purposive sampling was used to recruit six mothers of children between the ages of six and 18 months attending a child care centre in Halifax. The mothers all attempted breastfeeding and their child was already introduced to complementary foods. Data was collected through semi-structured interactive interviews.  Five themes emerged from the mothers’ stories: infant feeding burden, weaning stress around the “first-year”, resources and recommendations, children’s agency, and child care centre partnership. The areas needing further research and exploration are identified as well as recommendations for current practice.

Gatien, S. (2017). Eating habits of Nova Scotia pre-schoolers registered in regulated childcare (Master of Science Applied Human Nutrition, MSVU). Retrieved from

This thesis is embedded in the larger Nutrition Standards in Child Care Project (NSCCP), which explored the impact of these Standards on preschooler eating habits in the child care and home. This study examined preschooler diets to determine if Nova Scotia children registered full time in licensed child care centres meet CFG recommendations, and to compare home and child care environments. Four-day food records of 79 children ages 3 to 5 years old were examined for quantity and quality using The Classification of Foods in the Canadian Nutrient File According to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (CNF/CFG). Results indicate that many preschoolers are not meeting CFG recommendations for quantity and quality for the four main food groups and their directional statements. Overall, 55.7%, 82.3%, 65.8%, and 74.7% of children met recommendations for vegetables and fruits, grains, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives, respectively. Findings also identified that substantially fewer 4 and 5 year old preschoolers met recommendations for the vegetables and fruits group (30.3%) compared to the 3 year old preschoolers (60.9%), and fewer 4 and 5 year olds met grain recommendations on days at home (48.4%) compared to days including child care (83.3%). Additionally, vegetable and fruit intakes, as well as grain intakes are mostly in line with CFG guidance for quality; however, milk and alternatives intakes and meat and alternatives intakes are lower in quality. Children also consumed higher mean intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages and “other” foods on days at home (p<0.001). This study shows that food and beverage standards in the regulated child care environment do impact preschooler diets compared to CFG recommendations; however, many children in Nova Scotia are not meeting CFG recommendations for quantity and quality.