Objective: Early childhood is a crucial time for the development of eating behaviors and food preferences. With increased labor force participation by Australian mothers of young children, grandparents are acting as the main informal carers of grandchildren. Therefore, grandparents have the capacity to influence the feeding of young children and thus their eating behaviors. Design: Eleven semistructured qualitative interviews. Setting: Suburban Adelaide, South Australia. Participants: Grandparents (n = 11; 9 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers). Phenomenon of Interest: To gain insight into grandparental perspectives, beliefs, and opinions regarding the feeding of grandchildren aged 1–5 years. Analysis: Interviews were manually transcribed and coded, and codes were synthesized into common themes. Results: Four major themes emerged: (1) intergenerational differences (between grandparents and parents); (2) maintaining familial relationships; (3) treating grandchildren with food, and (4) nutritional efficacy. Grandparents thoughtfully managed familial relations, including intergenerational differences, in relation to feeding grandchildren. They showed some cognitive dissonance with regard to provision of treat foods (defined as discretionary foods) in which grandparents simultaneously prioritized healthy foods and treats. Conclusions and Implications: Grandparents’ social role in the complex psychosocial space of child feeding warrants serious recognition and deeper understanding to engage them fully as stakeholders in children's nutritional health.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior|
|Early online date||11 Oct 2018|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2019|