The Food-based Early Education (FEEd) Lab's research focuses on childhood overweight prevention by improving early childhood teachers' food and nutrition education strategies when working with children (birth-5 years) and their families. Food and nutrition education strategies of interest includes hands-on integrative learning activities and feeding/mealtime practices.


Current and past research in The FEEd Lab has focused on:

  • Examining the influence of teachers' background (e.g. knowledge, attitudes, health behaviors, prior experience with food) on the food and nutrition education strategies implemented in their classrooms

  • Influence of teachers' feeding/nutrition education strategies on young children's food consumption/preferences and learning eating behaviors

  • Understanding communication between teachers and parents related to young children's food consumption/preferences and eating behaviors

  • Influence of the teacher/parent relationship (specifically related to food/nutrition) on children's food consumption/preferences and eating behaviors in the classroom environment

  • Influence of local, state, and federal policy (e.g. CACFP) on the food and nutrition education strategies teachers use with young children and families

  • Development of food-based curricular and teacher professional development resources focused on integrative food and nutrition education for young children (birth-5 years) and families


  1. Dev, D., Stage, V., Schober, D.J., Kok, C.M., & McBride, B.A. (XXXX). Providers’ Perceptive on Implementing Nutrition Education in Child Care. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Accepted July 2017.
  2. Stage, V., Wilkerson, K.**, Hegde, A., Lisson, A.**, Babatunde, T., & Goodell, L.S. (2017). Head Start Administrator and Teacher Perceptions of Parental Influence on Preschool Children and Nutrition Education. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 1476718X17705415
  3. Peterson, A.**, Stage, V., Dev., D., Hegde, A., & Goodell, S. (2017). Teacher Perceptions of Multilevel Policies and the Influence on Nutrition Education in North Carolina Head Start Preschools. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 49(5), 387-396. PubMed
  4. Lisson, S.**, Dev, D., Wilkerson, K., Goodell, S., & Stage, V. (2016). Availability and Use of Nutrition Education Resources in North Carolina-based Head Start Preschool Programs. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 48(9), 655-663. DOI:10.1016/j.jneb.2016.07.016 PubMed
  5. Goodell, S., Stage, V., & Cooke, N.K. (2016). Practical qualitative research strategies: training interviewers and coders. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 48(8), 578-585. Epub Jul 7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.06.001 PubMed
  6. Roseno, A., Carraway-Stage, V., Geist, G., & Duffrin, M. (2014). Exploring Sunflower Seeds: A thematic approach to science Inquiry for young children. Young Children, 70(3), 88-91.
  7. Carraway-Stage, V., Spangler, H.**, Borges, M.**, & Goodell, S. (2014). Evaluation of a Pictorial Method to Assess Fruit and Vegetable Preference among Preschool Children. Appetite, 75, 11-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.12.011 PubMed
  8. Carraway-Stage, V., Henson, S.R.**, Dipper, A.**, Spangler, H.**, Ash, S.L., Goodell, S. (2014). Understanding the State of Nutrition Education in the Head Start Classroom: A Qualitative Approach. American Journal of Health Education. 45, 52-62. DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2013.853000

For a full list of publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=-J5VsKUAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao