* Sharing is Caring: A Study of Food-Sharing Practices in Australian Early Childhood Education and Care Services.
- Food connects people, and can significantly impact the physical, social and emotional development of young children. Food sharing and family-style mealtimes can support healthy eating practices and psychological well-being among young children, and carersother than family members, such as Early Childhood Education and Care staff, play an important role in the provision of these practices. Despite increasing numbers of Australian children attending Early Childhood Education and Care services, there is often reluctance among staff to promote such mealtime practices, to the detriment of children's social and emotional development. The aim of this paper was to focus on the potential role of Early Childhood Education and Care services in facilitating food sharing and family-style mealtime practices in the earliest stages of the lifespan. A qualitative, netnographic approach was used, and data was collected as part of the broader 'Supporting Nutrition for Australian Childcare' (SNAC) study, via online conversation threads, observations and qualitative interviews. Findings demonstrated that whilst many Early Childhood Education and Care services are committed to supporting food sharing and family-style mealtime practices, a number of barriers were reported. These included the perception that babies and toddlers could not participate in these practices, concerns about food hygiene and cross contamination of allergens, and negative parental influences on food sharing. In conclusion, this paper supports the practice of food sharing in Early Childhood Education and Care settings and calls for them to become embedded in everyday operations to support the physical, social and emotional development of Australia's future generations.
% 2020 International journal of environmental research and public health
* Intestinal Parasites, Anemia and Nutritional Status in Young Children from Transitioning Western Amazon.
- Young children are particularly vulnerable to the chronic sequelae of anemia, including poor nutritional status. The aim of this study was to assess intestinal parasitic-infections and nutritional status (anemia and linear growth) in preschool children living in contemporary Amazonian communities. A cross-sectional study measured children's intestinal parasites and hair-Hg (HHg)-biomarkers of fish consumption, hemoglobin levels, and growth (anthropometric Z-scores). Children came from traditional-living families (Itapuã), and tin-mining settlements (Bom Futuro) representing current transitioning populations. It covered 937 pre-school children (from 1 to 59 months of age) from traditional (247) and immigrant tin-mining families (688). There was a high prevalence of intestinal polyparasitic-infection in children from both communities, but mild anemia (hemoglobin concentrations) and moderate (chronic) malnutrition were more frequent in children from traditional families than in children from tin-mining settlers. Children from traditional families ate significantly more fish (HHg mean of 4.3 µg/g) than children from tin-mining families (HHg mean of 2.3 µg/g). Among traditional villagers, children showed a significant correlation (r = 0.2318; p = 0.0005) between hemoglobin concentrations and HHg concentrations. High rates of parasitic infection underlie the poverty and attendant health issues of young children in the Brazilian Amazon. The intestinal parasite burden affecting poor Amazonian children resulting from unsafe water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene is the most urgent environmental health issue.