Factors Associated with Mindful Food Parenting Practices
Background and Purpose: The prevalence of childhood obesity remains a concern in the United States and puts children at risk for poor health. As parents are the primary caretakers of their children, the practice of mindful food parenting may help parents moderate their child’s food consumption and food choices. The purpose of this research was to identify the factors associated with mindful food parenting practices among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white parents in two low-income schools in rural northern California. Methods: Two hundred ninety three parents of 3rd through 5th grade elementary school children completed a four part mindful food parenting practices survey developed to measure the factors associated with mindful food parenting practices. Results: Exploratory factor analysis revealed four mindful food parenting practices domains which were positively associated with several mindful food parenting practices such as eating family meals together and present-centered awareness (p=0.001) and cooking meals at home and hungerfullness awareness (p=0.001). Several demographic variables were associated with the mindful food parenting practices. Conclusions: As parents are more mindful and attentive to their child’s eating behaviors, there is a greater potential for a positive parental impact on their child’s food intake and types of foods consumed, and indirectly, the health of their child.