A comparison between the feeding practices of parents and grandparents

Claire Farrow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grandparents play a valuable role in the socialisation of young children, and as many as 36% of British parents use grandparents as their main form of childcare. Research has begun to explore how grandparents impact the social and cognitive development of children, but very little research has evaluated their contribution to child feeding. The present study explores whether there are differences between parents and grandparents in terms of their feeding practices, and whether grandparents' feeding practices are related to the number of hours that they spend caring for grandchildren. Results indicate that grandparents reported using significantly more maladaptive feeding practices such as using food to regulate emotions and restricting food, but more positive practices such as providing a healthy food environment. The more hours that grandparents spent caring for children the more their feeding practices resembled those broadly reported by parents. Results suggest that grandparents can have a measurable impact on child feeding behaviour which in turn is likely to predict the eating behaviours of their grandchildren. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Eating behaviors. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Farrow, C, 'A comparison between the feeding practices of parents and grandparents' Eating behaviors, vol. 15, no. 3 (2014) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.04.006


  • Child feeding
  • Grandparent
  • Informal caregiving
  • Parenting styles


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