Methodological development of an exploratory randomised controlled trial of an early years' nutrition intervention: the CHERRY programme ( Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young)
AuthorWatt, RG; Draper, AK; Ohly, HR; Rees, G; Pikhart, H; Cooke, L; Moore, L; Crawley, H; Pettinger, C; McGlone, P; ...
Source TitleMaternal and Child Nutrition
University of Melbourne Author/sMoore, Laurence
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWatt, R. G., Draper, A. K., Ohly, H. R., Rees, G., Pikhart, H., Cooke, L., Moore, L., Crawley, H., Pettinger, C., McGlone, P. & Hayter, A. K. M. (2014). Methodological development of an exploratory randomised controlled trial of an early years' nutrition intervention: the CHERRY programme ( Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young). MATERNAL AND CHILD NUTRITION, 10 (2), pp.280-294. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12061.
Access StatusOpen Access
Good nutrition in the early years of life is vitally important for a child's development, growth and health. Children's diets in the United Kingdom are known to be poor, particularly among socially disadvantaged groups, and there is a need for timely and appropriate interventions that support parents to improve the diets of young children. The Medical Research Council has highlighted the importance of conducting developmental and exploratory research prior to undertaking full-scale trials to evaluate complex interventions, but have provided very limited detailed guidance on the conduct of these initial phases of research. This paper describes the initial developmental stage and the conduct of an exploratory randomised controlled trial undertaken to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a family-centred early years' nutrition intervention. Choosing Healthy Eating when Really Young (CHERRY) is a programme for families with children aged 18 months to 5 years, delivered in children's centres in one urban (Islington) and one rural (Cornwall) location in the United Kingdom. In the development stage, a mixed-methods approach was used to investigate the nature of the problem and options for support. A detailed review of the evidence informed the theoretical basis of the study and the creation of a logic model. In the feasibility and pilot testing stage of the exploratory trial, 16 children's centres, with a sample of 394 families were recruited onto the study. We hope that the methodology, which we present in this paper, will inform and assist other researchers in conducting community-based, exploratory nutrition research in early years settings.
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