The aim of the study was to investigate maternal feeding strategies as prospective predictors of young children's food preferences. Participants were 106 mother – child dyads with data collected when children were aged 4 (Time 1) and then again at 6 years old (Time 2). Mothers completed an initial questionnaire at Time 1 which contained measures of restrictive and covert feeding strategies. Children were interviewed concerning their food preferences and had their height and weight measured at Time 1 and again two years later (Time 2). Longitudinal regression results showed that Time 1 parental restrictive feeding predicted decreased child-reported preferences for fruit and vegetables and increased preferences for salty food and sweets at Time 2. Conversely, Time 1 parental covert control predicted greater child-reported preferences for fruit and vegetables over time. The results provide longitudinal evidence of the negative impact of restrictive feeding, and of the positive impact of covert control, on the development of young children's food preferences.
- maternal feeding strategies
- covert feeding strategies
- restrictive feeding strategies
- child reported preferences