Associations Between Child Food Involvement and Picky Eating Among Preschool Age Children
Child food involvement, particularly in meal preparation, has been found to positively influence children’s food preferences. The influence of child food involvement on picky eating is unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the association between involvement of preschool age children in meal preparation, meal planning, and grocery shopping and child picky eating. Secondary data analysis was conducted using cross-sectional baseline survey data from 62 children aged 18 months to 5.9 years from the 39 families who participated in the Guelph Family Health Study pilot. Linear regression using generalized estimating equations was used. Overall food involvement, involvement in meal preparation, and involvement in grocery shopping were inversely associated with child picky eating. No significant association was found between meal planning and picky eating. These findings suggest that children should be involved in meal preparation during the preschool years to reduce risk of picky eating.