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Factors Associated With Mindful Food Parenting Practices

      Objective

      To examine factors associated with mindful food parenting practices.

      Design, Setting, and Participants

      A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a convenience sample of 236 parents of elementary school students primarily consisting of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children.

      Outcome Measures and Analysis

      Mindful food parenting practices were assessed using a validated mindful food parenting questionnaire. Other parent food behavior questions included frequencies of involving children in planning, shopping and preparing meals; availability of high-calorie food, fruits and vegetables at home; and frequencies of parent cooking, meal commensality at home, and eating out. Demographic data, such as gender, ethnicity, education, age, place of birth, and language spoken at home, were also obtained. Statistical analysis included Independent t-tests, one-way ANOVA and Spearman’s correlation.

      Results

      Mindful food parenting practice scores were significantly higher among participants who were female, born in Mexico, and had some high school or less education. Mindful food parenting practices were significantly associated with fruit availability at home and frequencies of involving children in planning and preparing meals. Frequencies of parent cooking and meal commensality were significantly correlated with mindful parenting practices. The availability of sweets and sugary beverages at home, as well as frequency of eating out, were inversely correlated with mindful food parenting practices.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Mindful food parenting practices may influence a child’s food environment and eating behaviors at home.

      Funding

      USDA NIFA

      Supplementary data