Influences on the quality of young children's diets: The importance of maternal food choices

MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.
The British journal of nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.45). 01/2011; 105(2):287-96. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114510003302
Source: PubMed


It is recognised that eating habits established in early childhood may track into adult life. Developing effective interventions to promote healthier patterns of eating throughout the life course requires a greater understanding of the diets of young children and the factors that influence early dietary patterns. In a longitudinal UK cohort study, we assessed the diets of 1640 children at age 3 years using an interviewer-administered FFQ and examined the influence of maternal and family factors on the quality of the children's diets. To describe dietary quality, we used a principal components analysis-defined pattern of foods that is consistent with healthy eating recommendations. This was termed a 'prudent' diet pattern and was characterised by high intakes of fruit, vegetables and wholemeal bread, but by low intakes of white bread, confectionery, chips and roast potatoes. The key influence on the quality of the children's diets was the quality of their mother's diets; alone it accounted for almost a third of the variance in child's dietary quality. Mothers who had better-quality diets, which complied with dietary recommendations, were more likely to have children with comparable diets. This relationship remained strong even after adjustment for all other factors considered, including maternal educational attainment, BMI and smoking, and the child's birth order and the time spent watching television. Our data provide strong evidence of shared family patterns of diet and suggest that interventions to improve the quality of young women's diets could be effective in improving the quality of their children's diets.

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Available from: Sian M Robinson, May 01, 2014
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    • "is regarded as a passive process influ - encing the child ' s food environment and subsequent dietary behavior . Cross - sectional studies have shown parent – child correspondence in the intakes of healthy and unhealthy foods and drinks , particu - larly for mothers ( Cooke et al . , 2004 ; Fisher , Mitchell , Smiciklas - Wright , & Birch , 2002 ; Fisk et al . , 2011 ; Grimm , Harnack , & Story , 2004 ; Hart , Raynor , Jelalian , & Drotar , 2010 ; McGowan , Croker , Wardle , & Cooke , 2012 ; Oliveria et al . , 1992 ; Ovaskainen et al . , 2009 ; Sonneville et al . , 2012 ; Wroten , O ' Neil , Stuff , Liu , & Nicklas , 2012 ; Zuercher , Wagstaff , & Kranz , 2011 ) . However , a meta - analysis reveale"
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    ABSTRACT: Until now, the literatures on the effects of food parenting practices and parents' own dietary behavior on children's dietary behavior have largely been independent from one another. Integrating findings across these areas could provide insight on simultaneous and interacting influences on children's food intake. In this narrative review, we provide a conceptual model that bridges the gap between both literatures and consists of three main hypotheses. First, parental dietary behavior and food parenting practices are important interactive sources of influence on children's dietary behavior and Body Mass Index (BMI). Second, parental influences are importantly mediated by changes in the child's home food environment. Third, parenting context (i.e., parenting styles and differential parental treatment) moderates effects of food parenting practices, whereas child characteristics (i.e., temperament and appetitive traits) mainly moderates effects of the home food environment. Future studies testing (parts of) this conceptual model are needed to inform effective parent-child overweight preventive interventions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Appetite
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    • "Healthy dietary intake (including meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake) is important for growth and development including maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity, overweight, and subsequent chronic diseases [1]. Health behaviors, including dietary intake, during the years of growth and development can influence health in adulthood, since poor dietary habits in childhood often continue into adulthood [2] [3]. Fruit and vegetable intake remains below recommended levels in children and adults in the United States [4]-[8]. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
    • "ity ( Collins et al . 2014 ) . Maternal post - natal diet was found to mediate a strong effect on child fruit and vegetable acceptance . These findings mirror an increasing body of research that suggests familial environment , particularly maternal diet , is associated with child dietary intake ( van der Horst et al . 2007 ; Pearson et al . 2009 ; Fisk et al . 2011 ) . Given these findings , it is therefore not surprising that child ACARFS ( total and sub - scores ) were suboptimal , reflecting those of mothers . This has significant implications for both further research and health promotion . The literature shows children are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables in their diets and getting c"
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have identified prenatal flavour exposure as a determinant of taste preferences in infants; however, these studies have focused on relatively small samples and limited flavours. As many parents struggle with getting children to accept a variety of nutritious foods, a study of the factors influencing food acceptance is warranted. The objective of this study was to determine whether exposure to a wider variety of fruit and vegetables and overall higher diet quality in utero results in acceptance of a greater variety of these foods and better diet quality for offspring during childhood. This study is a secondary data analysis of pregnant women (n = 52) and their resulting offspring recruited for the Women and Their Children's Health study in NSW, Australia. Dietary intake of mothers and children was measured using food frequency questionnaires. Diet quality and vegetable and fruit variety were calculated using the Australian Recommended Food Score and the Australian Child and Adolescent Recommended Food Score. Associations between maternal and child diet quality and variety were assessed using Pearson's correlations and the total effect of in utero maternal pregnancy diet on childhood diet was decomposed into direct and indirect effect using mediation analysis. Maternal pregnancy and post-natal diet were both correlated with child diet for overall diet quality and fruit and vegetable variety (P < 0.001). Mediation analyses showed that the indirect effect of maternal pregnancy diet on child diet was mediated through maternal post-natal diet, particularly for fruit (P = 0.045) and vegetables (P = 0.055). Nutrition intervention should therefore be aimed at improving diet quality and variety in mothers with young children, in order to subsequently improve eating habits of offspring.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Maternal and Child Nutrition
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