Parental feeding practices and dietary behaviour of children


GFVN édito - Famille cuisinant ensemble

Getting a child to eat fruit and vegetables is one of the best guarantees of good short- and long-term health. But what is the best way to do this ?

Three articles provide arguments:

  • The first studied the effect of breastfeeding in children aged two to 12 years: breastfeeding for six months or more and introducing fruit and vegetables instead of cereals during complementary feeding increased intake and variety.

  • The second focused on the most beneficial educational attitude of parents, which consisted of a coercive approach, structured practices and support for autonomy. Fruit and vegetable consumption was linked to confidence stemming from an upbringing combining incentives, example-setting and a degree of flexibility.

  • The third explored the impact of the example set by the father. Children’s once- or twice-daily consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables was strongly correlated with that of their fathers.

Being breastfed, having persuasive and yet flexible parents who set an example, and having a father who is also committed to this model are therefore three key factors in fruit and vegetable consumption from early childhood to adolescence.

Marie Laure FRELUT Paediatrician, FRANCE
  • Member of the Nutrition Committee of the French Paediatric Society
  • Member and former president of the European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG), publisher of the first open access e-book on child and adolescent obesity
  • Vice President of the Clinical Committee of the International Federation of Obesity
  • See next article