FOODTIME—Focusing on Obesity


This USDA-funded project worked with parents of 5- to 8-year-old children to brainstorm and develop new interactive tools that parents can access online to teach their children about healthy routines, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and obesity prevention. The project used skilled University of Illinois students to work with parent focus groups and discuss the currently available parenting and nutrition website features. The project team then brainstormed new ideas for future tools that parents could use to help teach their children about health routines and nutrition, and worked with internet programmers to develop these tools. Additionally, the project worked with 100 parents of 5- to 8-year-olds in central-eastern Illinois participate in a six-month trial concerning the use of the new tools on a parenting website to see if they find them helpful. The project team then adjusted the tools to follow the parent suggestions and the new tools will be promoted through Extension websites throughout the country and on the USDA website. The goal of this project was to create internet tools that parents can use to teach their children about healthy routines and nutrition, and work to prevent child obesity.

Downloadable Overview

FOODTIME Project Overview PDF

Research Team

  • Blake Jones, PhD, Project Coordinator, Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University
  • Barbara Fiese, PhD, Family Resiliency Center Director, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Aaron Ebata, PhD, Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Margarita Teran-Garcia, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition


This material was based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2012-03552-00-00.


Brenda Koester

Assistant Director
Family Resiliency Center
Phone: 217-244-6486