Feeding Problems in Typically Developing Young Children, a Population-Based Study

Children (Basel). 2021 May 13;8(5):388. doi: 10.3390/children8050388.

Abstract

Feeding problems have been estimated to occur in approximately 25-45% of normally developing children. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of feeding problems in typically developing young children in Greece. Child feeding behavior, parents' feelings about their child's feeding patterns, and parental feeding practices were also explored. Parents completed the Greek version of the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS). Data on 742 healthy, typically developing children aged two to seven years are presented. Overall, the majority of children in the sample showed high frequency of desirable mealtime behaviors and low frequency of undesirable mealtime behaviors. However, a significant proportion of the cohort presented with food neophobia and low consumption of vegetables. When applying test cut-off scores, it was found that 8.2% of the sample had abnormal Total Frequency Score (TFS) and 26.6% had abnormal Total Problem Score (TPS). The study showed that parent-reported feeding problems are quite common in children of typical development in Greece. Moreover, while the majority of the sample displayed a high frequency of favorable behaviors, specific child feeding behaviors are amenable to improvement.

Keywords: consumption of vegetables; feeding problems; food intake; food neophobia; healthy children; prevalence; typical development.