Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Objectives : To evaluate the relationship of home fruit and vegetable (F&V) availability and maternal feeding practices (restriction, pressure, modeling, monitoring) with preschoolers’ F&V intake.
Methods : Hispanic mothers (n=238) of 2-to-5-year-old children from low-income neighborhoods participated in the study. Mothers reported home availability of F&V (whole fruit, fruit juice [FJ], total fruit [FJ and whole fruit combined], and vegetables) in the past month, their feeding practices and their children’s F&V consumption (cups) in the past month. Data were collected using one-to-one interviews in English or Spanish. Logistic regression models tested associations of availability of F&V groups and feeding practices with children’s intake of ≥ 1 cup per day of total fruit and vegetables as per MyPlate minimum daily recommendation for preschoolers.
Results : Availability of total fruit and maternal modeling increased the odds of child’s consumption of ≥ 1 cup of fruit: Odds ratio (OR) = 2.41; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.56-3.70; p < 0.0001, and OR = 1.73; CI, 1.10-2.74; p< 0.020, respectively. Concurrently, maternal pressure and child’s being a female increased the odds of child’s consumption of ≥ 1 cup of vegetables: OR=1.44; CI, 1.10-1.90; p< 0.009, and OR=1.91; CI, 1.07-3.40; p < 0.028, respectively. Having more children in the home reduced the odds of child’s intake of ≥ 1 cup of vegetables: OR=0.78; CI, 0.61-0.99; p< 0.037. There were no significant associations between children’s Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile and children’s consumption of F&V or maternal feeding practices.
Conclusions : Environmental factors within the home appears to influence Hispanic preschoolers’ intake of F&V differently. To increase children’s intake of fruit, family interventions should promote home fruit availability and maternal food modeling practices. However, since maternal pressure to eat has not been associated with F&V intake, the significant association between vegetable intake and pressuring children to eat found in this study must be further examined in similar cultural samples to replicate this finding.
Funding Sources : U54GM104938