Aim: This paper explored the relationship between maternal controlling feeding behaviours and child eating and weight in preschool-aged children.
Methods: Ninety mothers of 2- to 5-year-old children (M = 3.48, SD = 0.84, 54.4% males) completed self-report measures assessing maternal controlling feeding behaviours, child eating patterns and weight.
Results: Univariate analyses indicated that child food neophobia was associated with authoritarian feeding (r= 0.29), pressure to eat (r= 0.28) and restriction (r= 0.34). Child food pickiness was associated with authoritarian feeding (r= 0.35). No association was found between maternal feeding strategies and child weight. Multivariate regression analyses indicated that authoritarian feeding, restriction and pressure to eat were significantly associated with the variance in child food neophobia (adjusted R2= 12.6%) and pickiness (adjusted R2= 12.0%).
Conclusions: The findings suggest that maternal control in feeding is associated with undesirable eating patterns in preschool-aged children. Interventions targeting reduction in maternal controlling feeding may promote desirable eating patterns in preschool-aged children.