The Health Behaviors Lab focuses on improving the health and well-being of young children by directly working with and making an impact on families, schools, and communities.
Through the different projects and programs, we provide students of the Health Behaviors Lab with ample opportunities for experiential learning and professional development to impact the world upon graduation.
Find out more about the impact we have in the community and on campus through our research, student highlights, and progress made by the Health Behaviors Lab.
The preschool years represent a time when young children establish healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns for optimal growth. Early childhood is a period of rapid development that affords the best opportunities for implementing behavioral changes that can reduce obesity risk. We develop innovative programs and resources focused on influencing the healthy development of young children. Materials are used in the classroom and at home to help teachers, and parents to positively influence children's eating and physical activity behaviors.
Children's eating and activity behaviors are influenced by factors that are unique to each child, and by the school environment, which includes the classroom and the playground. Teachers substantially influence children. Therefore, we work with teachers to better equip them with the resources and information to promote healthy habits and school readiness skills. We partner with preschools and childcare centers throughout Colorado to provide hands-on nutrition and physical activity programs that are fun and effective.
Families are another important influence on young children's eating and activity habits. Healthy eating and activity skills modeled in school must be reinforced at home. Through our partnership with schools, we reach families in an effort to improve their health literacy and home food/activity environment in a way that positively influences the habits and lessons they pass onto their children.
In the Health Behaviors Lab students advance their education by pursuing their interests and gaining the fundamental skills and knowledge to work in their field of study. Students are exposed to experiential and informal learning and develop additional abilities, knowledge, and values through hands-on experiences outside of the classroom. The diverse backgrounds and interests of each student provide an opportunity for all team members to learn and benefit from each other. In the end, we impact our students by offering experiences that enhance leadership, academic growth, social engagement, critical thinking skills, and overall success.
As part of the Food Science and Human Nutrition department, the Health Behavior Lab has access to resources and organizations that support professional growth. Through the different research projects and programs, students are able to interact and collaborate with individuals and departments from multiple academic disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach drives our projects to success. A vital aspect of a student's professional development is to network, teach, learn from, and collaborate with students and faculty within CSU and from other universities.
Students are crucial to the success of our projects. Through mentoring, we provide the resources and support needed to be academically successful, acquire high quality research skills, and tools for professional growth and development. We value each individual's unique background and interests. Our projects highlight students' strengths and encourage creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.