Snacking is suspected to contribute to excessive energy intake among young children. The family is a fundamental context for understanding how children's snacking habits develop. Yet, no studies have examined parenting effects on children's snacking behaviors for low-income ethnic minority families who are at particular risk of food insecurity, poor diet quality, and obesity. Research on snacking has been hindered by the lack of an accepted, empirically-based definition of snacking. Focusing on low-income African American and Hispanic families with preschool-aged children, this study will: qualitatively describe parents'definitions of child snacking and their approaches to feeding children snacks (Aim 1)~ rigorously develop and test a quantitative measure of these constructs (Aim 2)~ and evaluate relationships between parenting specific to child snacking and (a) parents'general child feeding practices and styles (b) children's nutrition and weight- related outcomes (Aim 3). This study will advance basic and translational science on parenting and child snacking through real-world empirical characterization of snacking from parents'perspective and development of the first validated measure of parents'snacking-specific feeding practices. Our interdisciplinary research team includes experts in children's nutrition and child feeding, theories of parenting and food schemas, and qualitative and quantitative methods. Innovations of the proposed research include the first empirical description of parents'definitions of child snacking and thei associated feeding approaches, the integration of research on food schemas and child-feeding, and the focus on snacking in low-income ethnic-minority children who are at disproportionate risk of poor nutrition and obesity.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is the first comprehensive investigation of low-income ethnic minority parents'definitions, goals, and feeding practices specific to children's snacking. This research has significant public health implications given th fundamental role of excessive energy consumption in the obesity epidemic, the increased frequency of snacking among US children and the lack of understanding of its determinants.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21HD074554-01A1
Application #
8460603
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-L (03))
Program Officer
Esposito, Layla E
Project Start
2013-06-10
Project End
2015-05-31
Budget Start
2013-06-10
Budget End
2014-05-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$256,449
Indirect Cost
$58,800
Name
Temple University
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
057123192
City
Philadelphia
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
19122