Associations of parenting styles, parental feeding practices and child characteristics with young children's fruit and vegetable consumption

FWO Flanders, Belgium.
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.69). 12/2010; 55(3):589-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.09.009
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of parent and child characteristics in explaining children's fruit and vegetable intakes. In 2008, parents of preschoolers (mean age 3.5 years) from 56 schools in Belgium-Flanders completed questionnaires including a parent and child fruit and vegetable food frequency questionnaire, general parenting styles (laxness, overreactivity and positive interactions), specific food parenting practices (child-centered and parent-centered feeding practices) and children's characteristics (children's shyness, emotionality, stubbornness, activity, sociability, and negative reactions to food). Multiple linear regression analyses (n = 755) indicated a significant positive association between children's fruit and vegetable intake and parent's intake and a negative association with children's negative reactions to food. No general parenting style dimension or child personality characteristic explained differences in children's fruit and vegetable intakes. Child-centered feeding practices were positively related to children's fruit and vegetable intakes, while parent-centered feeding practices were negatively related to children's vegetable intakes. In order to try to increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption, parents should be guided to improve their own diet and to use child-centered parenting practices and strategies known to decrease negative reactions to food.

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    • "Hence, relying on a parent's report of their child's food neophobia may underestimate the child's actual neophobia (Laureati et al., 2015a) or may project parents' own behaviors onto their children (Mata et al., 2008). Studies have examined the relationship between parental food preferences and child food preferences (Vereecken et al., 2010, Morrison et al., 2013, Howard et al., 2012), parent and child food neophobia (Faith et al., 2003, Skinner et al., 2002), or specific parental feeding practices (e.g., pressuring) with a child's fruit/vegetable intake (Vereecken et al., 2010, Gregory et al., 2011). Others have examined the relationship between a child's food neophobia and their food preference (Galloway et al., 2003, Howard et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to describe food neophobia, parenting feeding practices, and concordance in food preferences between parent-child dyads using a cross-sectional on-line survey completed by parents of preschoolers (3-5 y). Respondents (n=210) included mothers (89%) who were predominantly white (85%) and college educated (64%). Most children (mean age = 41.7 mo ±14.9), were perceived to be of a healthy weight (81%) and “good eaters” (60%). Parent (21.9 ± 7.4) and child food neophobia (30.4 ± 8.8) correlated significantly, though modestly (r=.14, p=0.04). The parent practice of offering new foods to eat was inversely associated with child food neophobia (r= -.40, p<.0001) and pressure to eat (r=-.13, p=0.07). Parent-child dyads had >75% concordance in preferences for whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and dairy. Lowest concordance (39-66%) was noted for sweetened beverages and entrees. Discordance occurred when parents had never offered their children a food (e.g., vegetables), and was uninfluenced by demographic factors. A child’s food neophobia and overweight status was associated with the child having a lower consumption of vegetables. Parent reports of giving the child more control of food-related decisions was associated with a higher number of healthy foods rated as liked by a child. Similarities in parent-child food preferences may be related to food neophobia and, consequently, the foods parents offer their children. Educating parents on the potential impact of feeding practices may be important for early intervention efforts to improve children’s food acceptance.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Food Quality and Preference
    • "108 109 The previous literature on feeding practices and child outcomes has a few significant limitations 110 (Shloim et al., 2015). Studies of feeding practices in families with infants and toddlers have 111 tended to favor questionnaire-based assessments (e.g., Clark, Goyder, Bissell, Blank, & Peters, 112 2007; Hughes, Shewchuk, Baskin, Nicklas, & Qu, 2008; Johannsen, Johannsen, & Specker, 113 2006; Powers, Chamberlin, van Schaick, Sherman, & Whitaker, 2006; Vereecken, Rovner, & 114 Maes, 2010). A recent review identified 71 different questionnaire or interview instruments of 115 variable length and quality that can be used to measure feeding behavior (Vaughn, "
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    ABSTRACT: Toddlers often go through a picky eating phase, which can make it difficult to introduce new foods into the diet. A better understanding of how parents' prompts to eat fruits and vegetables are related to children's intake of these foods will help promote healthy eating habits. 60 families recorded all toddler meals over one day, plus a meal in which parents introduced a novel fruit/vegetable to the child. Videos were coded for parent and child behaviors. Parents completed a feeding style questionnaire and three 24-hour dietary recalls about their children's intake. Parents made, on average, 48 prompts for their children to eat more during the main meals in a typical day, mostly of the neutral type. Authoritarian parents made the most prompts, and used pressure the most often. In the novel food situation, it took an average of 2.5 prompts before the child tasted the new food. The most immediately successful prompt for regular meals across food types was modeling. There was a trend for using another food as a reward to work less well than a neutral prompt for encouraging children to try a novel fruit or vegetable. More frequent prompts to eat fruits and vegetables during typical meals were associated with higher overall intake of these food groups. More prompts for children to try a novel vegetable was associated with higher overall vegetable intake, but this pattern was not seen for fruits, suggesting that vegetable variety may be more strongly associated with intake. Children who ate the most vegetables had parents who used more "reasoning" prompts, which may have become an internalized motivation to eat these foods, but this needs to be tested explicitly using longer-term longitudinal studies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Appetite
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    • "All were keen to communicate their ‘weight management’ competence to us; a finding that was also consistent with Canadian research [19]. Yet existing evidence suggests that there is little association between parenting style and children’s dietary intake [20]. If anything, there is some suggestion that food restriction may have negative consequences [21, 22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The high prevalence of childhood obesity is a concern for policy makers and health professionals, leading to a focus on early prevention. The beliefs and perspectives of parents about early childhood obesity, and their views and opinions about the need for weight management interventions for this age group are poorly understood. Methods A formative qualitative focus group study with parents of pre-school children took place in eight community-based locations throughout North-East Scotland to explore their ideas about the causes of early childhood obesity, personal experiences of effective weight management strategies, and views about the format and content of a possible child-orientated weight management programme. Study participants were recruited via pre-school nurseries. Results Thirty-four mothers (median age 37 years) took part in the study, but only two believed their child had a weight problem. Participants (who focussed primarily on dietary issues) expressed a strong sense of personal responsibility to ‘get the balance right’ regarding their child’s weight, and were generally resistant to the idea of attending a weight management programme aimed at very young children. At the same time, they described a range of challenges to their weight management intentions. These included dealing with intrinsic uncertainties such as knowing when to stop ‘demand feeding’ for weight gain, and judging appropriate portion sizes - for themselves and their children. In addition they faced a range of extrinsic challenges associated with complex family life, i.e. catering to differing family members dietary needs, food preferences, practices and values, and keeping their ‘family food rules’ (associated with weight management) when tired or pressed for time. Conclusions The findings have important implications for health professionals and policy makers wishing to engage with parents on this issue, or who are currently developing ‘family-centred’ early childhood weight management interventions. The challenge lies in the fact that mothers believe themselves to be the primary (and capable) agents of obesity prevention in the early years – but, who are at the same time, attempting to deal with many mixed and conflicting messages and pressures emanating from their social and cultural environments that may be undermining their weight management intentions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · BMC Public Health
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