Preschoolers' influence on and help with beverage selection at the grocery store is linked to maternal responsiveness and child beverage intake: An exploratory study.Eat Behav. 2016 12; 23:19-23.EB
Children's involvement in beverage selection or purchase has seldom been investigated. The responsiveness dimension of parental feeding styles has been related to healthy maternal feeding practices. Assessing mothers' reports of responsiveness and demandingness in grocery stores may shed light on influences on purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and fruit juice (FJ). Study objectives were to explore whether (1) maternal responsiveness and demandingness were associated with preschoolers' a) help with selection of and b) influence on SSB and FJ purchases during grocery shopping and whether (2) preschoolers' a) help with selection of and b) influence on SSB and FJ purchases were associated with child intake of these beverages. Mothers of 3-to-5-year-old children (n=185) who co-shopped with the child completed the Caregiver Feeding Style Questionnaire, reported frequency of child help with selection and influence on beverage purchase via questionnaire, and provided a one-day weekend food recall for the child. In adjusted logistic regressions, responsiveness was associated with child help selecting FJ (OR=6.50, 95% CI[1.04, 40.75], p<0.05), but not SSB. In multiple regressions, children who frequently helped select or influenced SSB purchases had higher SSB intake, b(SE)=3.63(1.40), t(176)=2.59, and b(SE)=3.18(1.25), t(176)=2.53, p<0.05. Mothers with higher responsiveness were more likely to let their preschoolers select FJ but not SSB during shopping. Children who frequently helped select or influenced SSB purchases had higher SSB intake than children who did so infrequently. Additional parenting behaviors associated with grocery shopping should be explored.