Fussy Eating among Children and Their Parents: Associations in Parent-Child Dyads, in a Sample of Children with and without Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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Parents are important agents in shaping children’s eating habits. However, the associations between children’s and parents’ eating behaviors are complex and may be convoluted for var-ious reasons, such as parenting feeding styles, stressful mealtimes, and children’s neurodevelop-mental disorders (ND), such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperac-tivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this study was to analyze associations between parents and their children’s fussy eating, in a cross-sectional sample of children, with and without ND. Ninety-seven parents answered screening questionnaires prior to an intervention study. Associations were investigated using two-way ANOVAs and chi-square analyses. Overall, children with ND accepted fewer food items and consumed unhealthier foods more frequently than children without ND. Fussy eating parents had children who accepted fewer food items and consumed unhealthier foods more frequently than children whose parents were not fussy eaters. Interaction effects were not significant. A higher proportion of fussy eating parents, than non-fussy eating parents, had children who had difficulties with combined foods and hidden ingredients. The findings highlight the need for further investigation into the relationships between parents’ influence on their children’s eating behavior and food consumption, as well as possible reciprocal impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2196
Issue number7
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder, Eating behaviors, Fussy eating, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Parent-child dyads

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