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Appetite. 2004 Aug;43(1):93-103.

Influence of mother's educational level on food parenting practices and food habits of young children.

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Department of Public Health, Ghent University, University Hospital, Bloc A, 2nd floor, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.


The main purpose of the present study is to examine whether differences in mothers' food parenting practices by educational level could explain differences in food consumption in Flemish preschool children. Three hundred and sixteen mothers of children aged 2.5-7 years, completed a self-administered questionnaire. Differences by educational level were found in children's and mothers' consumption frequencies of fruit, vegetables and soft drinks, and in the use of restrictions, verbal praise, negotiation, discouragement of sweets and restraining from negative modelling behaviour. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that mothers' consumption was an independent predictor for all four outcome variables; verbal praise was a significant predictor for children's vegetable consumption, permissiveness for regular consumption of soft drinks and sweets, and, using food as a reward for regular sweet consumption. Differences in children's food consumption by mothers' educational level were completely explained by mother's consumption and other food parenting practices for fruit and vegetables but not for soft drinks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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