Grow Well/Crecer Bien


Childhood obesity in the United States has doubled from the 1970s to the 21st century and is a national concern. While rates have stabilized among some children, those from from ethnic minority and low-income families continue to suffer the most from obesity and associated chronic health conditions. Experts recognize the importance of intervening early in childhood, as early as 0 to 24 months of age, and the critical role of family and trusted caregivers in early prevention of childhood obesity. The University of California Riverside in partnership with Early Head Start programs in southern California received funds from the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities to conduct a five-year study on infant growth and early childhood obesity risk.

This project stems from our work with Early Head Start on infant feeding practices and perceptions of childhood obesity risk among low-income Latino families enrolled in Early Head Start. This federal program provides home-based parenting and nutrition education for parents of children aged 0-3 years. Our study builds on this nutrition education and brings the voices of mothers and other caregivers into the development and design of curriculum to promote healthy growth and reduce early childhood obesity risk.

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


What's Happening Now?

Snapshot of the instagram page

We are recruiting families! Take the questionnaire to see if you are eligible or to sign up.

To follow updates and contact us, go to our instagram and facebook @Growwell_CrecerBien

Participation includes:

● Being interviewed as part of regular Early Head Start activities. When the baby is 2-months old, the participant will complete two 45-minute interviews, one week apart. At 6 months, the participant will complete two 30-minute interviews, one week apart. At 12 months, the participant will complete two 30-minute interviews, one week apart. We will ask about how the participant feeds the baby and about the characteristics of the participant and her household.

● Permitting us to obtain from EHS records of the baby’s length and weight from 0-24 months.

● Receiving a gift card of $50 at 2 months, $55 at 6 months, $60 at 12 months, and $65 at 24 months.

● Having the opportunity to receive $100 (2, $50 gift cards) for providing feeding information via the Baby Connect app and $25 gift card/person for participating in an interview with one of the child’s other caregivers, identified by the participant.

If you refer an eligible participant to us, you can receive a REFERRAL GIFT (while supplies last).

If you’re not eligible but know someone who can check out our recruitment flyer and share it with friends and family