New Research Reveals How Four Different Eating Patterns Impact Kids’ Health And Aims To Provide Parents With More Personalized Guidelines For Meal Time

“Whilst feeding practices are key intervention targets to change children’s eating behavior and child weight outcomes, there has been little evaluation of how feeding practices interact with children’s food approach behaviors to predict eating behavior,” detailed Jackie Blissett, the study’s principal investigator.

She further noted that current guidelines provided to the public are ambiguous and don’t take into consideration how children’s appetites vary. This often leaves caregivers frustrated as they try to navigate managing their kid’s food consumption.

So, to better address these concerns, the researchers hope to give parents guidance that is more personalized.

“Parents can use this research to help them understand what type of eating pattern their child presents. Then, based on the child’s eating profile, the parent can adapt their feeding strategies to the child,” explained Dr. Abigail Pickard of the School of Psychology at Ashton University.

“For example, children in the avid eating profile may benefit more from the covert restriction of food, i.e., not bringing snacks into the home or not having foods on display, to reduce the temptation to eat foods in the absence of hunger,” Dr. Pickard continued.

“Whereas, if a child shows fussy eating behavior, it would be more beneficial for the child to have a balanced and varied selection of foods on show to promote trying foods without pressure to eat.”

The team also intends to conduct more in-depth studies on “avid” eating habits, involving parents and their kids in specialized eating behavior labs at Ashton University. The aim is to get a closer look at both “avid” and “typical” eating tendencies as they occur in everyday situations.

The end goal is to work hand-in-hand with parents to create actionable guidelines aimed at cutting down on kids’ intake of tasty but not-so-healthy snacks.

To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in Appetite, visit the link here.

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