Food for Thought: Children learning from menus, recipes, and shopping lists

9/1/2015 – 8/31/2016


The study aims to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a new family program called “Food for Thought” which aims to help low-income Latino parents use everyday family food practices, such as cooking and grocery shopping, as teaching opportunities to enhance kindergarten children’s mathematics, literacy and self-regulation skills. Sixty families from three schools located in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district (North Carolina) will participate. The program will involve eight monthly family meetings taking place in the schools. Parents will watch videos of other Latino parents using behaviors promoting math, literacy and self-regulation, and will practice these behaviors with their children during the family meetings. Parents will be encouraged to use these behaviors in everyday contexts (e.g., while grocery shopping, cooking and eating out) via text messages every other week. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected from parents, ESL teachers and school principals to evaluate the feasibility of the program at three time points: beginning, middle and end of the school year. Formative evaluation of the program will involve information on recruitment, attendance, implementation, and sustainability of the program. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Diana Leyva in the Psychology Department at Davidson College.