Process for Validating My Child at Mealtime: Assessing Parent Mealtime Behavior in Spanish Speaking Families of Preschoolers


      Describe the process for validating the Spanish language My Child at Mealtime (MCMT) tool which assesses parent feeding styles in low-literacy, Spanish-speaking parents of preschool children.


      Parent feeding styles are considered effective targets for obesity prevention programs. Accurate measurement of feeding styles is a challenge for federally-funded, group-based nutrition education programs that rely on self-assessments with low literacy demands. Higher rates of obesity in Hispanic and Latino children warrant the development of valid self-assessment tools for low-literacy Spanish speakers. Validation will be done by comparing MCMT item responses to behaviors observed during mealtime interactions with the target child (final target N = 80). Content of the tool and mealtime coding system was based on previous validation results of the English MCMT version. The process described here will be used to assess whether parent responses accurately capture their mealtime behaviors.


      Videotaping of mealtimes is underway (current n=22). Coder reliability has been established and final coding is complete for one quarter of the collected videos. Approximately 35 videos will be finalized by the time of the report. Development of the coding system and preliminary descriptive data of the observed parent mealtime behaviors will be reported. Preliminary associations between behaviors and MCMT responses will be shared.

      Conclusion and Implications

      Development of a valid Spanish language self-assessment tool with low-literacy demands to capture feeding style would be an effective tool for federally funded nutrition education programs. Such tools enable programs to tailor their messaging to key barriers specific to each group.



      Supplementary data