Assessing and Improving Child Feeding Practices through "Take Charge of Your Family's Health"

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Description: Dietary intake of young children, strongly influenced by eating behaviors, is predominantly under the control of the primary caregiver and this element has been recognized as a major modifiable factor contributing to the rapid rise in obesity in children. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between type of educational interactive health communication (IHC) for primary caregivers of preschool children and caregiver self-efficacy and child feeding practices. A web based randomized experimental design with pretest and posttest measures on parental fruit, juice, and vegetable (FJV) self-efficacy (Cullen et al., 2000) and child feeding practices (Child Feeding Questionnaire [CFQ]) (Birch et al., 2001) was conducted. A convenience sample of 68 parents of preschoolers completed the study, guided by Prochaska's transtheoretical model to promote a positive decisional balance and greater self-efficacy. Participants were randomly assigned to a web-based learning module for 2 weeks, the intervention IHC of "Take Charge of Your Family's Health" or the control IHC of "Food Safety." The results of the two-way mixed-design ANOVA were not statistically significant for overall parental FJV self-efficacy ( p >.05) although the availability/accessibility self-efficacy subscale was marginally statistically significant ( p =.05). The CFQ subscales of level of restriction ( p =.812) and pressure to eat ( p =.986) failed to detect statistically significant changes in child feeding practices for the intervention group when compared to the control group. Intervention group means for number ( M =7.32) and length of access times ( M =72.78) were greater than the control group number ( M =4.11) and length ( M =34.19) of access indicating the intervention group remained engaged in the website content. Nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals can make significant contributions to the development of strong child feeding practices and enhanced parental self-efficacy by using reliable interventions for nutrition education and promotion of developmentally appropriate child feeding behaviors.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work