Caregiver feeding decisions and sociodemographic characteristics are associated with snack food intake during infancy and toddlerhood.
Snacking starts early in childhood, yet little is known about child versus family influences on snacking during infancy and toddlerhood. This secondary analysis of baseline data examined associations of child characteristics (e.g., appetitive traits, temperament), caregiver feeding decisions, and sociodemographic characteristics with the mean frequency of (times/day) and mean energy from (kcal/day) child snack food intake. Caregivers and their children (ages 9-15 months) were recruited in Buffalo, NY from 2017 to 2019. Caregivers reported on sociodemographics, child appetitive traits (Baby Eating Behaviour Questionnaire), and child temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised). Three 24-h dietary recalls were collected, and USDA food categories were used to categorize snack foods (e.g., cookies, chips, and puffs). Hierarchical multiple linear regression models examined associations of child characteristics (Step 1: age, sex, baseline weight-for-length z-score, appetitive traits, and temperament), caregiver feeding decisions (Step 2: breastfeeding duration and age of solid food introduction), and caregiver sociodemographic characteristics (Step 3: caregiver age, prepregnancy BMI, education, and household size) with mean child snack food intake. Caregivers (n = 141) were on average 32.6 years of age, predominantly white (89.1%), and college-educated (84.2%). Age of solid food introduction (B = -0.21, p = 0.03), prepregnancy BMI (B = 0.03, p = 0.04), and household size (B = 0.23, p = 0.02) were significantly associated with the mean frequency of (times/day) snack food intake, over and above other variables of interest. Child age (B = 15.96, p = 0.002) was significantly associated with mean energy from (kcal/day) snack food intake. Household size (B = 28.51, p = 0.006) was significantly associated with mean energy from (kcal/day) snack food intake, over and above other variables of interest. There were no significant associations of other child characteristics with snack food intake. Findings show that child snack food intake is more closely associated with caregiver feeding decisions and sociodemographic characteristics than child characteristics. TRIAL REGISTRATION: National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, Grant/Award Number R01HD087082-01.
Female; Child; Humans; Infant; Snacks; Energy Intake; Caregivers; Feeding Behavior; Eating
Appetitive traits; Infants; Snack foods; Temperament; Toddlers
Moore AM, Fisher JO, Burgess B, Morris KS, Croce CM, Kong KL. Caregiver feeding decisions and sociodemographic characteristics are associated with snack food intake during infancy and toddlerhood. Appetite. 2023;186:106551. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2023.106551