Parental feeding practices have been associated with children's dietary intakes, yet the directionality of these associations remains unclear. Among 1172 mother-child pairs from Project Viva, we aimed to examine associations of parental concerns and feeding behaviors at 2 years (behaviors dichotomized as yes vs. no), with diet quality (Youth Healthy Eating Index; YHEI) in early (mean 3.2, SD 0.3 years; = 1076) and mid-childhood (mean 7.8, SD 0.7 years; = 993). We used multivariable linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, parental body mass index (BMI), maternal diet quality in pregnancy, and child's BMI z-score and diet quality at 2 years. Early parental concerns about their child becoming overweight (15%) was associated with lower YHEI ( -1.54 points; 95%CI -2.75, -0.33; fully adjusted model) in early childhood. Early parental concerns about their child becoming underweight (7%) was associated with lower YHEI (-2.19 points; -4.31, -0.07) in early childhood, but the association was attenuated after adjustment for child's BMI z-score and diet quality at 2 years. We did not find associations of parental restrictive feeding (8%) and parental pressure to eat (47%) with child's YHEI through mid-childhood. In conclusion, we found no evidence that early parental concerns and feeding behaviors independently contribute to child's diet quality through childhood.
Associations of Early Parental Concerns and Feeding Behaviors with Child's Diet Quality through Mid-Childhood.