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How do mothers manage their preschool children's eating habits and does this change as children grow older? A longitudinal analysis

How do mothers manage their preschool children's eating habits and does this change as children grow older? A longitudinal analysis
How do mothers manage their preschool children's eating habits and does this change as children grow older? A longitudinal analysis
The practices mothers adopt in relation to feeding their children have been identified as important predictors of children's quality of diet. However, most studies of the impact of these practices on quality of children's diets have been cross-sectional in design, limiting conclusions about change and causality. Previous research has called for qualitative exploration of the way these practices are used in a real-life setting. This study set out to address these gaps in knowledge.

At baseline, mothers recruited to a community-based intervention study and who had a preschool child, completed a questionnaire about their use of covert and overt control practices, child food neophobia and demographics. The quality of children's diets was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Both questionnaires were repeated with the mothers two years later. Complete data at both time points were available for 228 mother–child pairs. Four focus group discussions were conducted with 29 mothers of preschool children to explore their experiences of feeding young children.

Mothers who increased their use of overt control had children whose level of food neophobia also increased (P = 0.02). Mothers who used more covert control had children with better quality diets at both time points (P = <0.01) and mothers who increased their use of covert control over the two year follow-up had children whose diet quality improved (P = 0.003). These associations were independent of confounders such as mother's level of education. In the focus groups, mothers suggested that feeding young children was stressful and that control was often relinquished in order to reduce conflict at mealtimes.

Supporting parents to adopt more covert techniques to control their children's eating habits may be an effective way of improving the quality of young children's diets
feeding practices, food neophobia, picky eating, longitudinal, children's diet
0195-6663
466-474
Jarman, Megan
a684fe3d-0567-4cb6-8985-667263e51457
Ogden, J.
c0107029-59bb-4c93-976d-067755368d8a
Inskip, H.
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Baird, J.
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Cooper, C.
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Robinson, S.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Barker, M.
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Lawrence, W.
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Jarman, Megan
a684fe3d-0567-4cb6-8985-667263e51457
Ogden, J.
c0107029-59bb-4c93-976d-067755368d8a
Inskip, H.
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7
Lawrence, W.
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Baird, J.
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Cooper, C.
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Robinson, S.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Barker, M.
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2

Jarman, Megan, Ogden, J., Inskip, H., Baird, J., Cooper, C., Robinson, S. and Barker, M. , Lawrence, W. (ed.) (2015) How do mothers manage their preschool children's eating habits and does this change as children grow older? A longitudinal analysis. Appetite, 95, 466-474. (doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.08.008). (PMID:26271222)

Record type: Article

Abstract

The practices mothers adopt in relation to feeding their children have been identified as important predictors of children's quality of diet. However, most studies of the impact of these practices on quality of children's diets have been cross-sectional in design, limiting conclusions about change and causality. Previous research has called for qualitative exploration of the way these practices are used in a real-life setting. This study set out to address these gaps in knowledge.

At baseline, mothers recruited to a community-based intervention study and who had a preschool child, completed a questionnaire about their use of covert and overt control practices, child food neophobia and demographics. The quality of children's diets was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Both questionnaires were repeated with the mothers two years later. Complete data at both time points were available for 228 mother–child pairs. Four focus group discussions were conducted with 29 mothers of preschool children to explore their experiences of feeding young children.

Mothers who increased their use of overt control had children whose level of food neophobia also increased (P = 0.02). Mothers who used more covert control had children with better quality diets at both time points (P = <0.01) and mothers who increased their use of covert control over the two year follow-up had children whose diet quality improved (P = 0.003). These associations were independent of confounders such as mother's level of education. In the focus groups, mothers suggested that feeding young children was stressful and that control was often relinquished in order to reduce conflict at mealtimes.

Supporting parents to adopt more covert techniques to control their children's eating habits may be an effective way of improving the quality of young children's diets

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Overt covert control paper FINAL August 15.docx - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 August 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 August 2015
Published date: 1 December 2015
Keywords: feeding practices, food neophobia, picky eating, longitudinal, children's diet
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380568
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380568
ISSN: 0195-6663
PURE UUID: 098c1c9a-1019-4f7e-a6c8-4ed2b42d70b3
ORCID for H. Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749
ORCID for W. Lawrence: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-0438
ORCID for J. Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for S. Robinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7269
ORCID for M. Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2015 09:37
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:59

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Contributors

Author: Megan Jarman
Author: J. Ogden
Author: H. Inskip ORCID iD
Editor: W. Lawrence ORCID iD
Author: J. Baird ORCID iD
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: S. Robinson ORCID iD
Author: M. Barker ORCID iD

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