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Differences in parental feeding styles and practices and toddler eating behaviour across complementary feeding methods: Managing expectations through consideration of effect size / Sofia, Komninou
Appetite, Volume: 137, Pages: 198 - 206
Swansea University Author: Sofia, Komninou
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Nutritional experiences during infancy and toddlerhood influence the development of healthy eating habits later in life. Interest into solid food introduction practices has experienced resurgence due to the popularization of the baby-led weaning (BLW) approach as an alternative to more traditional p...
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Nutritional experiences during infancy and toddlerhood influence the development of healthy eating habits later in life. Interest into solid food introduction practices has experienced resurgence due to the popularization of the baby-led weaning (BLW) approach as an alternative to more traditional parent-led weaning (PLW) practices. Although the literature shows beneficial effects of BLW on eating behaviours, the magnitude of those effects is unknown making parental expectation management challenging. This study provides an estimation of the size of the difference between the solid feeding practices groups for a variety of practices consistent with the development of healthy food preferences and behaviours.565 participants with infants between 12 and 36 months old completed a survey concerning their preferred parental feeding styles, parental feeding practices, sources of information on feeding and toddler's eating behaviour. Participants were categorised to one of four groups reflecting the level of infant self-feeding level a month after the introduction of solid food (Strict PLW, Predominant PLW, Predominant BLW and Strict BLW).Estimated effect sizes of the observed significant differences showed that the magnitude of effects was modest to minimal. Moderate effect sizes were observed in comparisons regarding breastfeeding duration, maternal feeding practices, sources of information and types of first food given to the infants at the beginning of solid feeding introduction. When it comes to toddlers’ eating behaviour and the family food environment, although some differences were statistically significant, the effect sizes were very small. Considering the long-lasting impact of food preferences developed at this stage along with the stress surrounding infant feeding decisions, it is crucial that the complementary feeding advice parents receive reflects realistic expectations of the outcomes regarding the effects on eating behaviour.
College of Human and Health Sciences