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Appetite. 2011 Dec;57(3):683-92. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Food avoidance in children. The influence of maternal feeding practices and behaviours.

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  • 1Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of a broad range of maternal feeding practices in predicting parental reports of food avoidance eating behaviours in young children, after controlling for child temperament, and maternal dietary restraint which have previously been associated with feeding problems. One hundred and four mothers of children aged between 3 and 6 years completed self report measures of their child's eating behaviour and temperament, maternal dietary restraint and child feeding practices. Maternal reports of food avoidance eating behaviours were associated with an emotional child temperament, high levels of maternal feeding control, using food for behaviour regulation and low encouragement of a balanced and varied food intake. Maternal feeding practices, predominantly pressure to eat, significantly predicted food avoidance eating behaviours after controlling for child emotionality and maternal dietary restraint. The significant contribution of maternal feeding practices, which are potentially modifiable behaviours, suggests that the feeding interactions of parents and their children should be targeted for intervention and the prevention of feeding difficulties during early childhood. Future research should continue to explore how a broader range of feeding practices, particular those that may be more adaptive, might influence child eating behaviour.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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