Child Nutrition Programs & School Nutrition

Public Health and Wellness

Research and Standards

FNCE 2018

472. New Perspectives on WIC: An Evidence-Based Examination of Early Childhood Dietary Behaviors

Sunday, October 21
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
CE: 1.5

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

The Academy’s Strategic Plan calls for expanding prospective food and nutrition research to create stronger evidence for associations between nutrition services, dietary behaviors, and health outcomes. The largest ongoing prospective study evaluating the health and nutrition outcomes of children in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program is the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2, and in early 2018, results from the study’s first two years were published. Join leaders of this sentinel study as they reveal the latest findings on early childhood dietary behaviors, self-feeding progressions, and the relationship between feeding decisions and child care and maternal employment patterns. Speakers will highlight how the behaviors of children in WIC align with the pediatric nutrition recommendations of AND and other professional organizations. Future research needs and opportunities will be explored, and RDNs and NDTRs will learn how the study’s most recent report can inform their own practices.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 9020 - Evaluation and application of research
  • 4080 - Government-funded Food and Nutrition Programs
  • 4150 - Infancy and Childhood (stages of life cycle)

Courtney Paolicelli, DRPH, RDN. LD, CDE

Dr. Courtney Paolicelli is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Health Science Officer at the VA's Office of Research and Development. In this role, she serves as a Scientific Program Manager for a portfolio of research studies focused on health promotion and complementary and integrative health. She received her Doctorate of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2012, and her Master of Public Health in Nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and most recently served on the board of the DC state affiliate. She received the Emerging Leader in Dietetics award in 2012, and served in the Federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow from 2014-2016. She currently resides in Alexandria, VA, with her husband, LtCol Mark Paolicelli, USMC, and her daughter, Molly Paige.


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Nancy Weinfield, PHD

Nancy Weinfield, PhD, is a Senior Study Director at Westat, a health research organization located in Rockville, MD. She is the Project Director for the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study, a multi-year national study evaluating the feeding practices, and dietary and health outcomes, of infants and children receiving WIC benefits. The study is following children through their entire period of WIC eligibility, to age 5. Dr. Weinfield is a developmental psychologist, specializing in research on low-income children and families. She received her Doctorate in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.


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Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD

Dr. Lorrene Ritchie is the inaugural Director of the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Ritchie has devoted her 25-year career to the development of interdisciplinary, science-based and culturally relevant solutions to child obesity and has conducted studies in numerous settings on the impact of nutrition policies and programs. Current research projects include evaluation of: interventions to improve water intake in lieu of sugary drinks in children; the relationship of school- and community-level programs and policies on student dietary intakes and weight status; the impact of nutrition policy and the Child and Adult Care Food Program in child care in California; the impact of WIC nutrition education on child feeding practices and how the feeding of young children 0 to 5 years old have evolved over time; and investigating how food insecurity relates to measures of dietary intake and health in children and college-age adults. Dr. Ritchie has a M.S. and Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from UC Berkeley, and is also a Registered Dietitian.


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Shannon Whaley, PhD

Dr. Shannon Whaley is the Director of Research and Evaluation for PHFE WIC, the largest local agency WIC program in the nation. In her 20 years of experience, Dr. Whaley has become an expert in understanding both how the program functions and how it can be maximally effective in achieving positive health outcomes for the families WIC serves. Dr. Whaley’s expertise is in the planning, development and evaluation of programs designed to optimize the healthy development of children and families served by WIC. Her work spans a broad range of topics including childhood nutrition and obesity, prevention of prenatal alcohol use, promotion of early literacy for low-income children and examination of the impact of the recent WIC food package change on WIC participants. Dr. Whaley served as Chair of the Evaluation Committee of the National WIC Association from 2012-2018 and recently served as Vice Chair of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee to Review the WIC Food Package.


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472. New Perspectives on WIC: An Evidence-Based Examination of Early Childhood Dietary Behaviors

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