Feeding problems are common, with implications for nutrition, growth and family stress, placing burden on primary care services. The Montreal Children's Hospital Feeding Scale (MCHFS) is a quick and reliable measure of feeding problems for clinical settings, but there is little examination of its relationship to commonly used research measures of parental feeding practice, child eating behaviour and observations of parent-infant interaction at mealtimes. We examined the relationships between the MCHFS, demographics and early feeding history, weight across the first year, parental report of feeding practices and child eating behaviours, and observations of maternal-infant feeding interaction at 1 year. The MCHFS, Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ) and Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) were completed by 69 mothers when their infants were 1-year-old (37 male, 32 female). Infant weight was measured at 1 week, 1 month, 6 months and 1 year. Mothers were observed feeding their infants at 1 year. The MCHFS was reliable (Cronbach's alpha = .90) and showed significant overlap with other measures of feeding and eating. Potential feeding problems were identified in 10 of the children (14%) reflecting similar rates in other community samples. Higher MCHFS scores were associated with lower birthweight and weight across the first year, greater satiety responsiveness, fussiness and slowness in eating, lower enjoyment of food and food responsiveness, and less observed infant food acceptance. Parents of infants with more feeding problems reported less encouragement of balance and variety in their children's diets. Conclusion: MCHFS showed good criterion validity with other parental report measures of eating and observations of mealtime interactions. MCHFS may be a useful tool for researching feeding problems in community samples.
Bibliographical note© 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Funding: ESRC PhD studentship ES/G017786/1.
- Infant feeding behaviour; Feeding and eating disorders of childhood; Surveys & questionnaires; Parent