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Nutritional Knowledge, Parenting Styles and Feeding Practices of a South African Sample of Parents

Brown, Melissa, Roman, Nicolette V.
Ecology of food and nutrition 2019 v.58 no.6 pp. 529-547
caregivers, children, food acceptability, foods, fruit consumption, fruits, healthy eating habits, monitoring, mothers, nutrition knowledge, parenting, sociodemographic characteristics, vegetable consumption, vegetables
Parenting can be considered as being an all-encompassing network of development for children. Children learn about eating not only through their own experiences but also by watching others. Mothers and children show similar patterns of food acceptance and food preferences. Children’s intake of fruit and vegetables was positively related to parents’ intake of fruit and vegetables. The current study used self-reported data from parents/primary caregivers' children aged 3–18 covering sociodemographic characteristics, feeding style dimensions (‘control overeating’, ‘emotional feeding’, ‘encouragement to eat’ and ‘instrumental feeding’) and parenting style dimensions (‘involvement’ and ‘strictness’). The results suggest, that in general, parents were inclined to encourage balance and variety in the food intake of their children, modeling healthy eating behavior, as well as monitoring the food intake of children while restricting unhealthy foods. Further research is needed into whether parents’ diets affect children’s food choices feeding.