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Food consumption by young children: A function of parental feeding goals and practices

Authors
Journal
Appetite
0195-6663
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
74
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.11.011
Keywords
  • Parental Feeding Practices
  • Child Feeding
  • Feeding Goals
  • Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Education

Abstract

Abstract Staggering health implications are associated with poor child diet. Given the importance of parents in impacting children’s eating outcomes, the current study examined a theoretical framework in which both parental feeding goals and practices impact specific healthy and unhealthy child eating behaviors. Participants were 171 mothers of 3–6year old children who were diverse both socioeconomically and with regard to BMI. Mothers completed questionnaires via Mechanical Turk, an online workforce through Amazon.com. Structural Equation Modeling showed an adequate model fit in which Negative Feeding Practices (e.g., using food as a reward) mediated the relationship between Health-Related Feeding Goals (i.e., feeding children with health-oriented goals in mind) and Negative Eating Behaviors (e.g., consumption of candy and snacks). However, Negative Feeding Practices did not mediate the relationship between Health-Related Feeding Goals and Positive Eating Behaviors (i.e., fruits and vegetables). These findings suggest the important role of habitual food parenting practices in children’s eating and have implications for parental health education programs.

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