Food Insecurity and Parent Feeding Practices in Urban and Rural Children Aged 7–12 Years

Published:October 26, 2022DOI:



      To examine associations between food insecurity and parent feeding practices for children aged 7–12 years; to determine differences between cohorts in urban and rural communities.


      Secondary analysis using baseline data from 2 randomized controlled trials: HOME Plus (urban) and NU-HOME (rural).


      A convenience sample of 264 parent-child dyads. Children were 51.5% female, aged 9.28 ± 1.45 years.

      Variables Measured

      Dependent variables included the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ), restrictive feeding subscale, parent modeling of fruits and vegetable score, and family meal frequency (FMF) at breakfast and evening. Food insecurity was the primary independent variable.


      Multivariable linear or Poisson regression for each outcome.


      Food insecurity was associated with a 26% lower weekly rate of FMF at breakfast (95% confidence interval, 6% to 42%; P = 0.02). In stratified analysis, this association was only in the rural NU-HOME study (44% lower weekly rate; 95% confidence interval, 19% to 63%; P = 0.003). Food insecurity was not associated with CFQ restrictive score, parent modeling score, or FMF at the evening meal.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Food insecurity was associated with less frequent family breakfast but not with other parent feeding practices. Future studies could investigate supportive mechanisms for positive feeding practices in households experiencing food insecurity.

      Key Words

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      2. US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Key statistics and graphics. Accessed January 5, 2022.

      3. No Kid Hungry, Feeding America. Child Hunger in Rural America. No Kid Hungry, Feeding America; 2020. Accessed January 13, 2022.

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