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Laurel Jean Branen, PhD, RD, LD


Professor, Foods and Nutrition


University of Idaho

Contact Information:

Family and Consumer Sciences

Niccolls Buidling, Room 109

Moscow, ID 83844-3183

Phone: 208-885-6026

Short Bio:

Dr. Branen, a Registered Dietitian and Professor of Foods and Nutrition, has conducted research on feeding young children in group settings with Dr. Janice Fletcher for more than twenty years. They have conducted experiments comparing children’s food intake and waste under a variety of feeding protocols and have conducted surveys comparing young adults’ current and early childhood eating habits, and child care providers’ feeding practices. They developed and presented the Feeding Young Children in Group Settings satellite course in 1984, and the revised course in 2000. In addition to the satellite course, they developed a public website:, and an on-going web-based course for credit at the University of Idaho. In recent years, Dr. Branen has focused on developing training materials on feeding young children for Head Start and child care staff. This research has been supported by a variety of United States Department of Agriculture grants. An award winning teacher, Dr. Branen also offers courses on eating disorders, research, nutrition education, and helping skills. Dr. Branen has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho, an M.S. in Nutrition Education from Washington State University, and a B.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.