Author(s): Skinner JD, Carruth BR, Bounds W, Ziegler P, Reidy K
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine if food-related experiences in the first 2 years of life predict dietary variety in school-aged children. DESIGN/SETTING: Child/mother pairs were interviewed 7 or 8 times when children were 2 to 24 months using a randomized incomplete block design to schedule interviews. Each child/mother pair was interviewed when the child was ages 6, 7, and 8 years. PARTICIPANTS: Child/mother pairs (n = 70) were continuous participants in the longitudinal study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Dependent variables were children's vegetable and fruit dietary variety, assessed from 3 days of dietary data at ages 6, 7, and 8 years. Independent variables from the first 2 years of life were selected from the longitudinal data set. ANALYSES: General linear models. Adjustments for age that vegetables (or fruits) were introduced in the diet. RESULTS: Vegetable variety in the school-aged child was predicted by mother's vegetable preferences, R2 =.084. Fruit variety in the school-aged child was predicted by breast-feeding duration and either early fruit variety (R2 =.254) or fruit exposure (R2 =.246). CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Nutrition education messages for mothers should emphasize the importance of early food-related experiences to school-aged children's acceptance of a variety of vegetables and fruits.
This article was published in J Nutr Educ Behav
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health