Objective: To identify practices that parents use to influence early adolescents’ food choices during independent eating occasions (iEOs) from parent and child perspectives. Design: In-depth interviews. Participants: Low-income parents (n = 49) and early adolescent children (aged 10–13 years; n = 44) from 10 US states and the District of Columbia. Phenomenon of Interest: Parent and child perspectives on parenting practices that influence food choices during iEOs. Analysis: Audio-recorded interviews transcribed verbatim, NVivo coding, and directed content analysis. Results: Parents reported setting rules and expectations and managing availability or accessibility as the most common practices used to influence iEOs. Other practices included teaching, pressuring to eat, monitoring, and modeling. Children reported that their parents had rules about what they could or could not eat during iEOs and that they used specific strategies (eg, call or text) to monitor their iEOs. Conclusions and Implications: Additional studies are needed to confirm findings from this exploratory study. Future cross-sectional and longitudinal studies could determine whether and to what extent food parenting practices identified in the current study are associated with healthy dietary intake during iEOs, as well as potential racial and ethnic differences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by money appropriated by Congress through the Hatch Act to the Agricultural Experiment Stations of land grant universities for multistate research projects. The funding bodies had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and in writing the manuscript.
- childhood obesity
- food choices
- food parenting practices
- independent eating occasions