142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Lives we choose to live: Linking employed mothers' daily schedules to daily routines for feeding children

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Tara Agrawal Pedulla, MS , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, MA
Carol M. Devine, PhD, RD , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
INTRODUCTION Child feeding routines are important because the recurrence of parents' food-related practices can influence children’s nutrition and health. New ways of understanding routine feeding practices are needed because significant changes in work and family life have occurred over the past decade. The aim of this qualitative study was to develop an understanding of working mothers’ daily routines for feeding children. METHODS Nineteen purposively sampled low-income employed mothers of preschool-age children living in upstate New York reported details about the context of their children’s eating episodes in a 24-hour qualitative dietary recall. We analyzed interview transcripts using the constant comparative method. RESULTS Employed mothers’ child feeding routines consisted of the regular sequencing of food preparation activities and children’s eating episodes. Mothers’ child feeding routines contributed to children’s eating episodes taking place in the same locations over time. Child feeding routines required synchronization between the daily schedules of mothers and their children. Key aspects of mothers’ daily schedules included transporting others, relying on others for children’s transportation, commuting to work, having multiple jobs, and splitting job and childcare shifts with a partner. Disruptions in daily schedules of mothers and their children, such as working overtime and waking up late, required the modification of child feeding routines. DISCUSSION These findings provide conceptual insights for public health researchers and practitioners. Public health professionals who give nutritional advice and develop policy need to consider the role of caregivers’ daily schedules in children’s food and eating.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe working mothers’ daily experiences in feeding children. Explain a conceptual model related to the characteristics and patterning of mothers’ daily schedules and routines for feeding children. Compare and contrast the characteristics and patterning of daily child feeding routines with key aspects of mothers’ daily schedules.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have held roles in policy and programming for multiple community-based nutrition interventions. My scientific interests include the development of strategies to improve food access of children and families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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