Emotional and instrumental feeding practices of Dutch mothers regarding foods eaten between main meals

L.G.M. Raaijmakers*, D.W.M. Gevers, D. Teuscher, S.P.J. Kremers, P. van Assema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: To assess how much of a public health problem emotional and instrumental feeding practices are, we explored the use of these feeding practices in a sample of Dutch mothers regarding their child's food between main meals. METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was among 359 mothers of primary school children aged 4-12 years. The were completed online at home. RESULTS: Of the mothers, 29.5% reported foods to reward, 18.1% to punish and 18.9% to comfort their child. frequently offered energy-dense and nutrient-poor products such as candy context of emotional and instrumental feeding practices. The use of practices was associated with a lower age of both mother and child and a educational level of the mother. Mothers living in neighborhoods with intermediate socioeconomic position used the practices less often than from low and high socioeconomic position neighborhoods. CONCLUSIONS: Our show that mothers in our sample mainly used unhealthy products in the instrumental and emotional feeding practices. Research into the between these practices and children's dietary intake is warranted, of unhealthy products in the context of these practices may not to an increased consumption of these products. Findings regarding the of use of these practices among specific subgroups can be used to determine the target population for interventions and tailor the content interventions to specific target group characteristics. Besides associations between personal and family characteristics and the use of and instrumental feeding practices, attempts should be made to parents' reasons for using them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number171
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2014


  • Parenting practices
  • Sweets and snacks
  • Primary school children
  • RISK

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