Parenting practices are associated with fruit and vegetable consumption in pre-school children

USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Public Health Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.68). 06/2009; 13(1):91-101. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980009005916
Source: PubMed


Parents may influence children's fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in many ways, but research has focused primarily on counterproductive parenting practices, such as restriction and pressure to eat. The present study aimed to assess the association of diverse parenting practices to promote F&V and its consumption among pre-school children.
An exploratory analysis was performed on cross-sectional data from 755 Head Start pre-school children and their parents collected in 2004-5. Data included parent practices to facilitate child F&V consumption (grouped into five categories); parent-reported dietary intake of their child over 3 d; and a number of potential correlates. K-means cluster analysis assigned parents to groups with similar use of the food parenting practice categories. Stepwise linear regression analyses investigated the association of parent clusters with children's consumption of F&V, after controlling for potential confounding factors.
A three-cluster solution provided the best fit (R2 = 0.62), with substantial differences in the use of parenting practices. The clusters were labelled Indiscriminate Food Parenting, Non-directive Food Parenting and Low-involved Food Parenting. Non-directive parents extensively used enhanced availability and teachable moments' practices, but less firm discipline practices than the other clusters, and were significantly associated with child F&V intake (standardized beta = 0.09, P < 0.1; final model R2 = 0.17) after controlling for confounders, including parental feeding styles.
Parents use a variety of parenting practices, beyond pressuring to eat and restrictive practices, to promote F&V intake in their young child. Evaluating the use of combinations of practices may provide a better understanding of parental influences on children's F&V intake.

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Available from: Tom Baranowski, Jul 14, 2014
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    • "The regression models suggest that parents’ knowledge and attitudes and shaping practices explain a greater proportion of variance in the change in children’s diet than role modelling aspects of the family environment. It has been shown that role modelling is an essential part of adopting new behaviour [39], and children tend to model their parents’ eating behaviours [40], which is evident from research showing parent and children’s intakes of nutrients and food groups are generally correlated [14,15]. Longitudinal research with Australian adolescents has shown baseline levels of role modelling of healthy eating by mothers was associated with change in fruit consumption [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The family food environment is an important influence in the development of children’s dietary habits. Research suggests that influences of current dietary behaviour and behaviour change may differ. The aims of this paper were to: (1) investigate the association between the food environment at baseline and change in children’s saturated fat intake; and (2) to explore whether a change in the food environment was associated with a change in children’s saturated fat intake. Secondary analysis of a 12 week cluster randomised controlled trial in 133 4-13 year old children. Families were randomly allocated to parental education regarding changing to reduced-fat dairy foods or a comparison non-dietary behaviour. The interventions were family focused. Parents received education from a dietitian in 3x30minute sessions to facilitate behaviour change. Parents completed a comprehensive questionnaire capturing three domains of the food environment – Parent knowledge and attitudes; shaping practices; and behaviours and role modelling. Children’s dietary intake was assessed via multiple 24-hour recalls at baseline and week 12. Changes in the family food environment and primary outcome (saturated fat) were calculated. Hierarchical linear regression models were performed to explore the association between baseline and change in food environment constructs and change in saturated fat intake. Standardised Beta are presented (p<0.05). After adjustments for child and family demographics, higher levels of perceived food availability (β=-0.2) at baseline was associated with greater reduction in saturated fat intake, where as higher perceived responsibility (β=0.2), restriction (β=0.3) and pressure to eat (β=0.3) were associated with lesser change in saturated fat. An increase in nutrition knowledge (β=-0.2), perceived responsibility (β=-0.3) and restriction (β=-0.3) from baseline to week 12 were associated with greater reduction in saturated fat intake. The present study was one of the first to quantify changes in the family food environment, and identify a number of factors which were associated with a positive dietary change. Because interventions focus on behaviour change, the findings may provide specific targets for intervention strategies in the future. Trial registration Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000453280.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 01/2013; 10(1):4. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-10-4 · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    • "A modified version of the 33-item Feeding Strategies Scale (FSS) [21] and the 26-item Feeding Problems Scale (FPS) were used to measure parent perceptions in feeding children fruit and vegetables. Items are scored on a 3-point scale to reflect current level of perceived effectiveness of feeding strategies (1 – “not very effective”, 2 – “a little bit effective”, 3 - “very effective”) and feeding problems (1 – “not a problem”, 2 – “a little problem, 3 - “a big problem”) in getting children to eat fruit and vegetables. "
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    ABSTRACT: Associations between parent and child characteristics and how they influence the approach parents take toward children in the feeding environment have not been examined extensively, especially in low-income minority families who are at a higher risk for obesity. The primary aim of the study was to examine positive and negative parent emotions as potential mediators of the relationship between child temperament and parents' perceptions of strategy effectiveness and problems encountered in feeding children fruit and vegetables. Participants were low-income families (n = 639, 73% minority, children aged 3-5 years) participating in Head Start programs in two states. Parents completed the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and measures of strategy effectiveness (teachable moments, practical methods, restriction, and enhanced availability) and problems encountered (vegetable characteristics, child attributions for dislike, external influences, and parental demands) in feeding children fruit and vegetables. Positive parent emotions partially mediated the relationship between child Effortful Control and strategy effectiveness and fully mediated the relationship between Surgency and strategy effectiveness. Although negative parent emotions were associated with increased perception of problems in feeding children fruit and vegetables, the relationship between Negative Affectivity and problems in feeding was partially mediated by negative parent emotions. Positive parent emotions facilitated perceived effectiveness of feeding strategies, with child Effortful Control and Surgency instrumental to this process. Understanding mechanisms in parent-child feeding is important when developing interventions designed to promote healthy child eating behaviors.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 05/2012; 9(1):64. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-9-64 · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Multiple interviews with a larger sample are warranted in order to stratify findings by race/ethnicity as well as socioeconomic status. While parenting practices have shown promise as a means to positively influence child fruit and vegetable intake (Hughes, O'Connor, & Power, 2008; O'Connor et al., 2009), reasons why parents might use specific practices have not been explored. Future research should continue to examine motivations for the use of specific food parenting practices, and explore mechanisms to move parents from thinking to engaging in a particular approach or behavior. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore factors underlying parents' motivations to use vegetable parenting practices (VPP) using the Model of Goal Directed Vegetable Parenting Practices (MGDVPP) (an adaptation of the Model of Goal Directed Behavior) as the theoretical basis for qualitative interviews. In-depth interviews with parents of 3-5-year-old children were conducted over the telephone by trained interviewers following a script. MGDVPP constructs provided the theoretical framework guiding script development. Audio-recordings were transcribed and analyzed, with themes coded independently by two interviewers. Fifteen participants completed the study. Interviews elicited information about possible predictors of motivations as they related to VPP, and themes emerged related to each of the MGDVPP constructs (attitudes, positive anticipated emotions, negative anticipated emotions, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control). Parents believed child vegetable consumption was important and associated with child health and vitality. Parents described motivations to engage in specific VPP in terms of emotional responses, influential relationships, food preferences, resources, and food preparation skills. Parents discussed specific strategies to encourage child vegetable intake. Interview data suggested parents used diverse VPP to encourage child intake and that varied factors predicted their use. Understanding these factors could inform the design of interventions to increase parents' use of parenting practices that promote long-term child consumption of vegetables.
    Appetite 12/2011; 58(2):444-9. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.011 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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