Changing maternal perceptions of healthy feeding: a novel intervention

M. R. Meers, S. E. Domoff, M. LeRoy, S. Holt, D. R. Musher-Eizenman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: This study sought to better understand factors influencing mothers' perceptions about healthy feeding. Additionally, a social consensus intervention was used to try to change mothers' likelihood to serve healthy foods. Methods: Mothers saw photographs of healthy and unhealthy snacks and meals and rated them on several factors that were hypothesized to predict the likelihood of serving the foods. Then, mothers were randomly assigned to the experimental or control condition. Those in the experimental condition received social consensus information about these foods, whereas the control condition did not. The change in perceptions in the control and experimental conditions was examined. Results: Mothers rated healthy meals and snacks less favourably than unhealthy meals and snacks on factors including cost, preparation time and difficulty, and child preference. Furthermore, mothers' perceptions of foods as liked by their child, easy to prepare and ‘kid-friendly’ predicted higher likelihood to serve those foods. Finally, mothers were more likely to describe the healthy snack as kid-friendly and indicated being more likely to serve it after receiving favourable social norm information about the food. Conclusions: The use of social consensus interventions to change parents' perceptions of healthy snacks may be one means of increasing the quality of children's diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Childhood obesity
  • feeding behaviour
  • feeding patterns
  • social perception


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing maternal perceptions of healthy feeding: a novel intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this