Responsive Feeding Practices and Influences: A Qualitative Analysis of Parent Experiences with Feeding their Young Children
Dina Essa Almaatani, Linda Mann, Erin Kelly, Melissa Rossiter

Parenting styles and feeding practices influence child eating behaviors. Using a qualitative method with a responsive feeding lens, this study explored the feeding practices described by a sample of parents of young children between the ages of 3-5 years. Findings indicated that although parents hoped their children would develop a lifelong healthy relationship with food and for the most part understood responsive feeding, their confidence and ability to consistently practice responsive feeding was influenced by their children’s behavior, previous experiences, family and friends, and their own beliefs about food and feeding. These findings can inform how we support parents during the early years as they navigate food and feeding with their young children and strive for the development of lifelong healthy eating habits.

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