Parents' feeding approach in the first year of life and associations with eating behavior at 6 years old
The purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of the impact that a parent’s feeding approach in the first year of life has on a child’s eating behavior at 6 years of age. It is important to understand this relationship as the rates of picky eating in young children are high. Similarly, the intake of nutritional foods by younger children is lower than the suggested guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. In order to develop a better understanding of the relationship between early feeding approach and later eating habits, a sample of 1,223 participants was used from two respective Centers for Disease Control data sets that represented two time points: at 10.5 months of age and at 6 years of age. A combination of descriptive statistics, multiple regressions, and a MANCOVA were used to develop examine early feeding behavior by parents at 10.5 months of age and a child’s fruit and vegetable intake at 6 years of age. Results revealed that during infancy the amount of commercial baby food consumed, the frequency new foods were introduced, along with parent’s income and mothers age were predictive of fruit and vegetable consumption at age 6 years old. The education level of mother’s also significantly impacted fruit and vegetable intake at age 6.