Children's vegetable intake is low, despite benefits for immediate and long-term health. Repeatedly reoffering vegetables, role-modelling consumption, and offering non-food rewards effectively increase children's vegetable acceptance and intake. However, a number of barriers prevent families from reoffering previously-rejected vegetables. This study used the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and the COM-B model of behaviour to explore barriers and enablers to reoffering, role-modelling and offering non-food rewards among parents of 2-4-year-old children. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted, from which eleven core inductive themes were generated: 'Child factors', 'Eating beliefs', 'Effectiveness beliefs', 'Past experience', 'Current family behaviours', 'Harms', 'Knowledge', 'Need for change', 'Parent effort', 'Parent values' and 'Practical issues'. The codes underpinning these themes were inductively mapped to 11 of the 14 TDF domains, and five of the six COM-B components. Previously-reported influences on families' vegetable feeding practices were confirmed, including concerns about child rejection of foods/meals, cost of vegetables, and food waste. Novel findings included some parents' perceptions that these practices are pressurising, and that certain beliefs/knowledge about children's eating behaviour can provide a "protective mindset" that supports families' perseverance with reoffering over time. Future interventions should be tailored to better reflect the diversity of needs and previous experiences of feeding that families have, with some families likely to find that troubleshooting and further signposting is appropriate for their needs while others might benefit from more persuasive and educational approaches. The mapping of codes to the TDF and COM-B will facilitate the identification of appropriate intervention functions and behaviour change techniques when designing new interventions to support families with increasing their children's vegetable intake.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This accepted manuscript version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/].
Funding: This project was supported by a MRC PHIND grant (MR/V032208/1) awarded to CEH (Principal Investigator), EH, CF and AMC.
- Behaviour change wheel
- Role modelling
- Vegetable feeding
- Repeated exposure
- Non-food reward