To examine the roles of child cognitions and parental feeding practices in explaining child intentions and behaviour regarding fruit and vegetable consumption.
Cross-sectional surveys among pre-adolescent children and their parents.
The child questionnaire included measures of fruit and vegetable consumption and cognitions regarding fruit and vegetable consumption as postulated by the Attitude-Social Influence-Self-Efficacy (ASE) model. The parent questionnaire included measures of parental feeding practices derived from the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ).
In total, 963 parents and 796 students in grades 5 and 6 from eighteen schools in the south-western part of Norway participated.
A large portion of child intention to eat fruit and child fruit consumption was explained by child cognitions (29 % and 25 %, respectively). This also applied to child intention to eat vegetables and child vegetable consumption (42 % and 27 %, respectively). Parent-reported feeding practices added another 3 % to the variance explained for child intention to eat fruit and 4 % to the variance explained for child vegetable consumption.
The results from the present study supported the application of the ASE model for explaining the variance in child intentions to eat fruit and vegetables and in child consumption of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, our findings indicated that some parental feeding practices do have an influence on child intentions and behaviour regarding fruit and vegetable consumption. However, the role of parental feeding practices, and the pathways between feeding practices and child eating intentions and behaviour, needs to be further investigated.
We examined whether there are sex differences in children's fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and in descriptive norms (i.e. perceived FV intake) related to parents and friends. We also studied whether friends' impact is as important as that of parents on children's FV intake. Data from the PRO GREENS project in Finland were obtained from 424 children at the age 11 years at baseline. At baseline, 2009 children filled in a questionnaire about descriptive norms conceptualised as perceived FV intake of their parents and friends. They also filled in a validated FFQ that assessed their FV intake both at baseline and in the follow-up in 2010. The associations were examined with multi-level regression analyses with multi-group comparisons. Girls reported higher perceived FV intake of friends and higher own fruit intake at baseline, compared with boys, and higher vegetable intake both at baseline and in the follow-up. Perceived FV intake of parents and friends was positively associated with both girls' and boys' FV intake in both study years. The impact of perceived fruit intake of the mother was stronger among boys. The change in children's FV intake was affected only by perceived FV intake of father and friends. No large sex differences in descriptive norms were found, but the impact of friends on children's FV intake can generally be considered as important as that of parents. Future interventions could benefit from taking into account friends' impact as role models on children's FV intake.