Latino father involvement in meals and food management may be related to frequency of food parenting practices that could improve adolescent dietary intake. However, limited information exists about this relationship.
To examine associations between the frequency of Latino fathers’ meal/food involvement and father food parenting practices based on adolescent report.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
A cross-sectional study was conducted using baseline survey data from Latino adolescents (10-14 years, n = 138) participating in a community-based intervention with fathers to prevent obesity (2017-2019). Adolescents reported frequency of fathers’ meal/food involvement, and father food parenting practices using tested survey instruments.
Logistic regression models were used to examine associations of family meals; meals with fathers; and paternal food involvement (planning, buying, preparing) (independent variables) with food parenting practices (setting expectations; role modeling; home food availability for fruits, vegetables, and sugar-sweetened beverages [SSBs]) (dependent variables) adjusted for income; children in the home; and adolescent age and sex.
Greater father food involvement was associated with expecting adolescents’ fruit intake ≥2 times/day (OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 1.30-7.08), role modeling fruit intake (OR, 3.53; 95% CI, 1.51-8.30), and making fruit available >3 times per week (OR, 4.04; 95% CI, 1.67-9.79). Meals with fathers ≥5 times/week was associated with role modeling fruit and vegetable intakes >3 times per week (OR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.28-6.43 for fruit; and OR, 3.26; 95% CI, 1.51-7.06 for vegetables), and making fruit and vegetables available >3 times per week (OR, 3.45; 95% CI, 1.52-7.86 for fruit; and OR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.29-6.72 for vegetables). Family meals ≥5 times/week were positively associated with making SSBs available ≥2 times/week (OR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.07-5.98).
Food and meal involvement among Latino fathers may enable certain food parenting practices to improve adolescent food behaviors.