Mothers' self-reported grocery shopping behaviours with their 2- to 7-year-old children: Relationship between feeding practices and mothers' willingness to purchase child-requested nutrient-poor, marketed foods, and fruits and vegetables

Kathryn Lively, Oluborode Babawale, David M. Thompson, Amanda S. Morris, Jennifer L. Harris, Susan B. Sisson, Marshall K. Cheney, Karina R. Lora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective To assess relationships between mothers' feeding practices (food as a reward, food for emotion regulation, modelling of healthy eating) and mothers' willingness to purchase child-marketed foods and fruits/vegetables (F&V) requested by their children during grocery co-shopping. Design Cross-sectional. Mothers completed an online survey that included questions about feeding practices and willingness (i.e. intentions) to purchase child-requested foods during grocery co-shopping. Feeding practices scores were dichotomized at the median. Foods were grouped as nutrient-poor or nutrient-dense (F&V) based on national nutrition guidelines. Regression models compared mothers with above-the-median v. at-or-below-the-median feeding practices scores on their willingness to purchase child-requested food groupings, adjusting for demographic covariates. Setting Participants completed an online survey generated at a public university in the USA. Subjects Mothers (n 318) of 2- to 7-year-old children. Results Mothers who scored above-the-median on using food as a reward were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·60, P<0·0001), mothers who scored above-the-median on use of food for emotion regulation were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·29, P<0·0031) and mothers who scored above-the-median on modelling of healthy eating were more willing to purchase nutrient-dense foods (β=0·22, P<0·001) than were mothers with at-or-below-the-median scores, adjusting for demographic covariates. Conclusions Mothers who reported using food to control children's behaviour were more willing to purchase child-requested, nutrient-poor foods. Parental feeding practices may facilitate or limit children's foods requested in grocery stores. Parent-child food consumer behaviours should be investigated as a route that may contribute to children's eating patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3343-3348
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017



  • Children
  • Feeding practices
  • Food purchase
  • Grocery shopping
  • Influence

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