Better Beginnings is an evidence-based program designed to motivate and enable:

  • parents to parent, feed, structure their home environments and model healthy behaviors, so that their….

  • children eat a nutrient-dense diet (high in fruits and vegetables, and low in high-fat, high-sugar foods and beverages) in age-appropriate amounts, play actively and engage in only limited screen time.



Better Beginnings IS conducted in a group setting

 to permit social learning, change social norms, and engage peer support to facilitate to behavior change and overcome barriers. 

Better Beginnings is grounded in Social Cognitive Theory,

leveraging behavior change techniques such as self-assessments, goal-setting and -monitoring, and environmental restructuring.


Please watch this brief video from our pilot program (previously called H.O.N.I.)!

Curriculum of our six 2-hour sessions:

Motivate for Action!  Parents learn about their own susceptibility to chronic disease, create collages regarding how they see their young children at age 18 (motivating behavior change) and learn how to set SMART goals.

Parent to Health!  Parents learn about nutrition basics and authoritative parenting, discussing potential barriers to authoritative parenting.

Play Your Part!  Parents learn about Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility in feeding and the benefits of setting routines.

Eat, Praise, Try!  After a discussion of common but counter-productive feeding practices, parents learn about three feeding practices (praise, family meals and repeated exposures)  that research shows encourage quality diets in their children.

Create a Healthy Home!  Parents review their home environment checklist (homework), learn how to read food labels (including unit pricing), discuss the benefits of meal planning and plan meals for a week.

Be a Role Model!  Parents self-assess whether they have the habits that they desire for their children (are they role modeling healthy behaviors), tackle three case studies, eat a celebratory pot luck meal and receive completion certificates at a graduation ceremony.