How parents describe picky eating and its impact on family meals: A qualitative analysis

Amanda C. Trofholz, Anna K. Schulte, Jerica M. Berge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children are frequently described as being picky eaters. However, this term has been inconsistently defined in prior research. There is limited qualitative research investigating how parent's define picky eating, how they respond to it, or how they see picky eating impacting their child's dietary intake or the family meal. For this study, parents (n = 88) of siblings (ages 2–18 years old) were interviewed in their homes. The semi-structured interviews focused on parent feeding practices and child eating behaviors. A qualitative content analysis approach was used to analyze the data; themes regarding picky eating emerged. Results of this study show that the majority of parents (94% female; mean age 35 years) were from minority and low income homes. The following themes regarding picky eating were identified: 1) children were frequently described as being picky eaters; 2) parents defined picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., not liking a few foods; limited intake; resisting texture or appearance of foods; resistance to new foods); 3) picky eating impacted the family meal (i.e., promotes meal-related parent stress; impacts meal preparation); and 4) parents responded to picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., require child tries food; allow child to make separate meal; allow child not to eat; parent makes a separate meal; allows child to choose only food he/she likes; requires child to eat anyway). This study demonstrates that many parents experience child picky eating and report that it impacts family meals. Additionally, study results provide information on the specific ways pickiness impacts the family meal and how parents respond to pickiness. This study also provides guidance for future studies wishing to define picky eating or evaluate the prevalence of child pickiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalAppetite
Volume110
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Fingerprint

Meals
Eating
Parents
Food
Qualitative Research
Child Behavior
Feeding Behavior
Siblings
Interviews
Research

Keywords

  • Child eating behavior
  • Family meals
  • Neophobia
  • Parent feeding practices
  • Picky eating

Cite this

How parents describe picky eating and its impact on family meals : A qualitative analysis. / Trofholz, Amanda C.; Schulte, Anna K.; Berge, Jerica M.

In: Appetite, Vol. 110, 01.03.2017, p. 36-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a663cd2428224a1aa519f2511c4fc3ab,
title = "How parents describe picky eating and its impact on family meals: A qualitative analysis",
abstract = "Children are frequently described as being picky eaters. However, this term has been inconsistently defined in prior research. There is limited qualitative research investigating how parent's define picky eating, how they respond to it, or how they see picky eating impacting their child's dietary intake or the family meal. For this study, parents (n = 88) of siblings (ages 2–18 years old) were interviewed in their homes. The semi-structured interviews focused on parent feeding practices and child eating behaviors. A qualitative content analysis approach was used to analyze the data; themes regarding picky eating emerged. Results of this study show that the majority of parents (94{\%} female; mean age 35 years) were from minority and low income homes. The following themes regarding picky eating were identified: 1) children were frequently described as being picky eaters; 2) parents defined picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., not liking a few foods; limited intake; resisting texture or appearance of foods; resistance to new foods); 3) picky eating impacted the family meal (i.e., promotes meal-related parent stress; impacts meal preparation); and 4) parents responded to picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., require child tries food; allow child to make separate meal; allow child not to eat; parent makes a separate meal; allows child to choose only food he/she likes; requires child to eat anyway). This study demonstrates that many parents experience child picky eating and report that it impacts family meals. Additionally, study results provide information on the specific ways pickiness impacts the family meal and how parents respond to pickiness. This study also provides guidance for future studies wishing to define picky eating or evaluate the prevalence of child pickiness.",
keywords = "Child eating behavior, Family meals, Neophobia, Parent feeding practices, Picky eating",
author = "Trofholz, {Amanda C.} and Schulte, {Anna K.} and Berge, {Jerica M.}",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.027",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "110",
pages = "36--43",
journal = "Appetite",
issn = "0195-6663",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - How parents describe picky eating and its impact on family meals

T2 - A qualitative analysis

AU - Trofholz, Amanda C.

AU - Schulte, Anna K.

AU - Berge, Jerica M.

PY - 2017/3/1

Y1 - 2017/3/1

N2 - Children are frequently described as being picky eaters. However, this term has been inconsistently defined in prior research. There is limited qualitative research investigating how parent's define picky eating, how they respond to it, or how they see picky eating impacting their child's dietary intake or the family meal. For this study, parents (n = 88) of siblings (ages 2–18 years old) were interviewed in their homes. The semi-structured interviews focused on parent feeding practices and child eating behaviors. A qualitative content analysis approach was used to analyze the data; themes regarding picky eating emerged. Results of this study show that the majority of parents (94% female; mean age 35 years) were from minority and low income homes. The following themes regarding picky eating were identified: 1) children were frequently described as being picky eaters; 2) parents defined picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., not liking a few foods; limited intake; resisting texture or appearance of foods; resistance to new foods); 3) picky eating impacted the family meal (i.e., promotes meal-related parent stress; impacts meal preparation); and 4) parents responded to picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., require child tries food; allow child to make separate meal; allow child not to eat; parent makes a separate meal; allows child to choose only food he/she likes; requires child to eat anyway). This study demonstrates that many parents experience child picky eating and report that it impacts family meals. Additionally, study results provide information on the specific ways pickiness impacts the family meal and how parents respond to pickiness. This study also provides guidance for future studies wishing to define picky eating or evaluate the prevalence of child pickiness.

AB - Children are frequently described as being picky eaters. However, this term has been inconsistently defined in prior research. There is limited qualitative research investigating how parent's define picky eating, how they respond to it, or how they see picky eating impacting their child's dietary intake or the family meal. For this study, parents (n = 88) of siblings (ages 2–18 years old) were interviewed in their homes. The semi-structured interviews focused on parent feeding practices and child eating behaviors. A qualitative content analysis approach was used to analyze the data; themes regarding picky eating emerged. Results of this study show that the majority of parents (94% female; mean age 35 years) were from minority and low income homes. The following themes regarding picky eating were identified: 1) children were frequently described as being picky eaters; 2) parents defined picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., not liking a few foods; limited intake; resisting texture or appearance of foods; resistance to new foods); 3) picky eating impacted the family meal (i.e., promotes meal-related parent stress; impacts meal preparation); and 4) parents responded to picky eating in a variety of ways (i.e., require child tries food; allow child to make separate meal; allow child not to eat; parent makes a separate meal; allows child to choose only food he/she likes; requires child to eat anyway). This study demonstrates that many parents experience child picky eating and report that it impacts family meals. Additionally, study results provide information on the specific ways pickiness impacts the family meal and how parents respond to pickiness. This study also provides guidance for future studies wishing to define picky eating or evaluate the prevalence of child pickiness.

KW - Child eating behavior

KW - Family meals

KW - Neophobia

KW - Parent feeding practices

KW - Picky eating

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85003847797&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85003847797&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.027

DO - 10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.027

M3 - Article

C2 - 27889496

AN - SCOPUS:85003847797

VL - 110

SP - 36

EP - 43

JO - Appetite

JF - Appetite

SN - 0195-6663

ER -