Restrictive rules of Dutch mothers regarding their children's dietary intake between meals

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The use of restrictive food rules by parents has been found to be associated with dietary intake in their children. The aim of this study was to explore the use of restrictive rules of Dutch mothers regarding their child's food intake between main meals in detail, to generate necessary input for setting priorities for further research and intervention development. A cross-sectional questionnaire study on nine restrictive rules was completed by 359 mothers of primary school children aged 4-12years. Mothers reported to use an average of 4.1 (SD 2.1) out of nine restrictive food rules and all rules measured in this study were used. The rules mother's reported to use most were not eating shortly before meals, not eating certain foods too often and not eating too much of certain foods. The rules varied according to different foods, but particularly applied to the intake of potato chips, nuts and savory snacks, candy and chocolate. Mothers of a younger age, lower educated mothers and mothers with a higher BMI were less likely to use (certain) restrictive rules. This study showed that mothers use a large variety of rules, particularly to restrict the intake of unhealthy foods and reported on several subgroups that were less likely to use (certain) rules. Our results direct further research and inform the development of interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Food parenting practices
  • Restrictive food rules
  • Snacks
  • Primary school children

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