Family Home Food Environment and Nutrition-Related Parent and Child Personal and Behavioral Outcomes of the Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Background: Research has demonstrated a significant positive association between frequent family meals and children's dietary intake; however, the promotion of healthful family meals has not been rigorously tested for key food environment and nutrition-related behavioral outcomes in a randomized trial. Objective: To describe family home food environment and nutrition-related parent and child personal and behavioral outcomes of the Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment Plus program, the first rigorously tested family meals intervention targeting childhood obesity prevention. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Baseline, postintervention (12 months, 93% retention), and follow-up (21 months, 89% retention) data (surveys and dietary recalls) were collected. Participants/setting: Children aged 8 to 12 years (N=160) and their parents were randomized to intervention (n=81) or control (n=79) groups. Intervention: The intervention included five parent goal-setting calls and 10 monthly sessions delivered to families in community settings that focused on experiential nutrition activities and education, meal planning, cooking skill development, and reducing screen time. Main outcome measures: Family home food environment outcomes and nutrition-related child and parent personal and behavioral outcomes. Statistical analyses performed: Analyses used generalized linear mixed models. Primary comparisons were contrasts between intervention and control groups at postintervention and follow-up, with adjustments for child age and parent education. Results: Compared with control parents, intervention parents showed greater improvement over time in scores of self-efficacy for identifying appropriate portion sizes, with significant differences in adjusted means at both post-intervention (P=0.002) and follow-up (P=0.01). Intervention children were less likely to consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily at post-intervention than control children (P=0.04). Conclusions: The Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment Plus program involved the entire family and targeted personal, behavioral, and environment factors important for healthful changes in the home food environment and children's dietary intake. The intervention improved two nutrition-related behaviors and this may inform the design of future family meal interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-251
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018



  • Family
  • Meals
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

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