January 18th, 2021

A recent publication in Nutrition looked at parental influence on a child's nutritional choices. Dr. Thomson and colleagues not surprisingly found that parents are very influential in the child's decision making process. Modeling healthy behavior around food choices more often than not led to improved child eating behaviors.

They noted that there are 6 major parenting styles around food with parent child dyads. They are negative emotion, restriction, monitoring, availability, modeling and child involvement. Structure, autonomy and modeling around eating vastly outperformed coercive eating styles with pressure to eat x, restriction of x or food rewards.

The worst child eating outcomes come when a parent is coercive and controlling without education or not involved at all.

The best outcome came when a parent did not consume processed foods with added sugars coupled with no junk/processed food presence in the household. This is classic modeling the behavior that you want to see.

Dr. M