Purpose: This study examined how fathers and mothers coparent around child feeding.
Methods: Father-mother pairs (N = 30) of preschool-aged children (M child age = 4.1 years old) participated in joint or group interview sessions.
Results: Three themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: (1) couples' division of labor regarding feeding tasks seemed to align with stereotypical gender roles; (2) couples noted that they attempted healthier family eating habits in comparison to families of origin and recognized the influence of extended family on their attempts at healthier feeding; (3) couples agreed on the importance of family mealtime, routines, and healthy meals, yet disagreed on strategies to limit unhealthy foods and achieve harmonious family meals.
Conclusions: This study identified processes of coparenting and child feeding areas that were particularly challenging to manage among parents, which could be important targets for childhood obesity interventions.
Level of evidence: V, descriptive study.
Keywords: Child; Coparenting; Couple; Father; Feeding; Mother.
Conflict of interest statement
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Development and preliminary validation of a feeding coparenting scale (FCS).Appetite. 2019 Aug 1;139:152-158. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.04.020. Epub 2019 Apr 27. Appetite. 2019. PMID: 31039372
'It's not worth the fight': Fathers' perceptions of family mealtime interactions, feeding practices and child eating behaviours.Appetite. 2020 Jul 1;150:104642. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104642. Epub 2020 Feb 26. Appetite. 2020. PMID: 32112959
Fathers' Perspectives on Coparenting in the Context of Child Feeding.Child Obes. 2016 Dec;12(6):455-462. doi: 10.1089/chi.2016.0118. Epub 2016 Sep 16. Child Obes. 2016. PMID: 27636332 Free PMC article.
Practitioner review: Engaging fathers--recommendations for a game change in parenting interventions based on a systematic review of the global evidence.J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;55(11):1187-212. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12280. Epub 2014 Jul 1. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2014. PMID: 24980187 Free PMC article. Review.
Systematic research review of observational approaches used to evaluate mother-child mealtime interactions during preschool years.Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan;101(1):7-15. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.092114. Epub 2014 Nov 5. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015. PMID: 25527745 Review.