Collected pictures of fifteen smiling faces of various skin and hair tones.

Grow Well/Crecer Bien


The Grow Well/Crecer Bien project is conducting a five-year study on infant growth and early childhood obesity risk. Specifically, we are looking at infant feeding practices to develop nutrition education encouraging healthy feeding.

We have partnered with community members, healthcare systems, and Early Head Start programs in Inland Southern California to:

  1. Characterize the role of mothers and trusted caregivers in infant feeding in low-income families, and
  2. Use the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) model to adapt, implement, and evaluate an early childhood obesity risk reduction intervention for low-income Latino families in southern California.

What's Happening Now?

Our team, in collaboration with mothers, other caregivers, and community health workers (CHWs)/promotoras, is using ADDIE to adapt Healthy Beginnings, an intervention to reduce early childhood obesity risk. Based out of Australia, Healthy Beginnings was originally developed for English-speaking first-time mothers. We will adapt it for Latinx families in southern California.

A circular diagram with arrows running clockwise and the words "Addie Model" in the center. From the top, the sections read:  Analyze, which leads to design, which leads to develop, which leads to implement, which leads to evaluate, which leads back to analyze, completing the circle.


Get involved/Stay involved

You can find more information at:

growwell_crecerbien on Facebook

growwell_crecerbien on Instagram

Learn more about resources for infant and toddler caregivers via our YouTube Series, part of the HDR@UCR channel:

Grow Well/Crecer Bien Platica #1 Cómo Elegir a los Cuidadores con un orador invitado Primero5

Project Aims

This study uses a community-based participatory research approach to engage Early Head Start mothers, staff, and leadership and aims to characterize infant feeding practices and develop nutrition education that promotes healthy feeding practices among multiple caregivers. Our research includes two aims:  

  1. Conduct a longitudinal study to characterize the caregiver context of infant feeding in low-income families.
  2. Develop and pilot test an enhanced intervention compared to EHS’ existing nutrition education program

Project Leaders

  • Ann Cheney – Principal Investigator -
  • Alison Tovar – Co-Investigator - 
  • Evelyn Vázquez – Co-Investigator -
  • Arianna Zimmer – Project Manager  
  • Maria Pozar – Community Investigator
  • Marisol Peña – Promotora
  • Mary Bautista – Promotora
  • Sonia Rodriguez – Promotora
  • Andrea Ramirez – Senior Research Assistant
  • Clarissa Carlos – Research Assistant
  • Gabriela Ortiz – Graduate Student Researcher
  • Daniella Carrillo –Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Amanda Lee – Medical Student Researcher
  • Navya Chauhan – Medical Student Researcher
  • Nadine Del Rosario – Medical Student Researcher
  • Norma Espinoza – Medical Student Researcher

Grow Well/Crecer Bien Publications

You can learn more about our findings in these published manuscripts:

  1. Ramirez, A.; Tovar, A., Garcia, G., Nieri, T., Hernandez, S., Sastre, M., and Cheney, A.M. (2022).+ Involvement of Non-Parental Caregivers in Obesity Prevention Interventions among 0–3-Year-Old Children: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. PublicHealth,19: 4910. https:// 
  2. Cheney, A. M., Nieri, T., Ramirez, A., Garcia, G., Vaca, L., Valencia, E., Versteeg, C., Molina, A., Castillo, M., and Tovar, A., (2020). Grow Well/Crecer Bien: A protocol for research on healthy infant feeding practices in low-income families. BMC Public Health, 20, 1431, 1-13.
  3. Cheney, A. M., Nieri, T., Davis, E., Prolongo, J., Valencia, E., Anderson, T. A., Widaman, K., and Sullivan, G. (2019). Social and Cultural Processes Informing Latina Mother’s Infant and Child Feeding Practices. Global Health Nursing Research.