Parent perception of their child's and their own eating habits may influence feeding and eating behaviors.
To evaluate associations between the parent's perceptions of their own eating habits and their perception of their child's eating habits.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
A cross-sectional online survey distributed via social media to parents/caregivers of children aged 3 to 8 years. The questionnaire included the ecSI 2.0, CEBQ and demographic items. Pearson's correlations were used to examine relationships between the ecSI 2.0TM and CEBQ subscale scores.
Ellyn Satter's 16-item Competence Inventory (ecSI 2.0TM), includes 4 subscales: eating attitudes, food acceptance skills, internal regulation skills and contextual skills of adults. The 35-item Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) parent report measure assesses picky eating using 8 subscales; food responsiveness, emotional over-eating, enjoyment of food, desire to drink, satiety responsiveness, slowness in eating, emotional undereating and food fussiness. Chi-square, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t tests were used to analyze ecSI 2.0TM and CEBQ subscale scores with demographics variables.
The majority of respondents (n = 186) were female (93.5%), White (82.3%) and married (88.7%). Half (49.5%) were ≥36 years of age and most (75.8%) held college degrees. Half (53.2%) of the children were female, and child age was evenly distributed. The adults deemed eating competent differed by parent age and household income, χ²(5,186) = 12.57, P = 0.03 and χ²(1, 186) = 6.27, P = 0.01, respectively. There was a significant difference in child's enjoyment of food, t(184) = -2.30, P = 0.003, with higher scores found in eating competent parents. A significant difference in a child's desire to drink was found, t(184) = 2.59, P = 0.01, with lower scores among eating competent parents.
Findings suggest eating competence among parents may play a role in their child's eating behavior. Suggested relationships between parent eating competence and perceived child eating behavior warrant additional research and these can be used to provide insight on perceived child eating behavior studies.