Self-Determination Theory as a Theoretical Framework for a Responsive Approach to Child Feeding

Published:April 01, 2020DOI:


      Supporting positive childhood eating behaviors is a central and ongoing priority for health care providers, encompassing both health outcomes for typical eaters and best practice in relation to pediatric feeding challenges. Building on existing work, this perspective draws on literature from multiple fields to recommend the use of Self-Determination Theory as a framework for responsive feeding. Additionally, it contributes to the definition and conceptualization of responsive feeding. The 3 basic needs proposed by Self-Determination Theory (autonomy, relatedness and competence) have significant implications for both professional practice and the direction of future research.

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