Kids EAT!

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Kids EAT! is a mixed-methods study that seeks to deepen our understanding of the types of food-related parenting practices used by racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse parents of young children and the impact that these feeding practices have on children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes. This project will begin with in-depth interviews to identify a broad scope of food-related parenting practices and the momentary factors that influence them. Parent responses will then inform the development - and adaptation of measures for use within an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) protocol. Finally, an EMA study will explore within- and between-parent fluctuations in food-related parenting practices and will identify momentary influences on parents' use of food-related parenting practices. Knowledge gained and data collected from the proposed research will improve our understanding of the use and impact of food-related parenting practices on weight-related outcomes in children.  Findings will be useful for parents and primary and primary care providers as they seek to improve the dietary intake and eating behaviors of the children in their care.

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Loth KA, Huang Z, Wolfson J, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fisher J, Fulkerson JA, Berge JM. Leveraging ecological momentary assessment to understand variability in food parenting practices within a low-income racially/ethnically diverse sample of parents of preschoolers. Appetite. 2023 Sep; 188: 106635

Loth KA, Ji Z, Wolfson J, Fisher J, Berge JM, Neumark-Sztainer D. Momentary predictors of a broad range of food parenting practices within a population-based sample of parents of preschool children. Frontiers in Public Health, 2023 Jan; 10: 944734

Loth KA, Hersch D, Trofholz A, Harnack L, Norderud K. Impacts of COVID-19 on the home food environment and eating related behaviors of families with young children based on food security status. Appetite, 2023 Jan; 180: 106345


Loth KA, Ji Z, Wolfson J, Neumark-Sztainer D, Berge J, Fisher J. A descriptive assessment of a broad range of food-related parenting practices in a diverse cohort of parents of preschoolers using real-time assessment. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2022 Mar; 19 (1): 22

Loth KA, Ji Z, Wolfson J, Berge JM, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fisher JO. COVID-19 pandemic shifts in food-related parenting practices within an ethincally/racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of families of preschool-aged children.  Appetite, 2022 Jan; 168: 105714.

Arlinghaus K, Hersch D, Neumark-Sztainer D, Loth KA. Experiences with public health recommendations for COVID-19: A qualitative study of diverse mothers with young children in the United States. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 2022 Feb; 15 (1): 64-73

Trofholz A, Hersch D, Norderud K, Berge J, Loth KA. Changes to the home food environment and parent feeding practices during the COVID-10 pandemic. Appetite, 2022 Feb; 169:105806


Loth KA, Uy MJA, Winkler MR, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fisher JO, Berge JM. The intergenerational transmission of family meal practices: a mixed-methods study of parents of young children. Public Health Nutr. 2019;22(7):1269-1280. doi:10.1017/S1368980018003920

Uy MJA, Pereira MA, Berge JM, Loth KA. How Should We Approach and Discuss Children's Weight With Parents? A Qualitative Analysis of Recommendations From Parents of Preschool-Aged Children to Physicians. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019;58(2):226-237. doi:10.1177/0009922818812489


Loth KA, Nogueira de Brito J, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fisher JO, Berge JM. A Qualitative Exploration Into the Parent-Child Feeding Relationship: How Parents of Preschoolers Divide the Responsibilities of Feeding With Their Children. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018;50(7):655-667. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2018.03.004

Loth KA, Uy M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fisher JO, Berge JM. A qualitative exploration into momentary impacts on food parenting practices among parents of pre-school aged children. Appetite. 2018;130:35-44. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2018.07.027


  • NIH NICHD (NIH5K23HD090324)
  • University of Minnesota CTSI-Ed K-R01 Transition to Independence Grant
    Exploring the momentary mechanisms of a broad range of food-related parenting practices among racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse parent-child dyads
  • University of Minnesota (UMN) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Children’s Minnesota, and the UMN Department of Pediatrics
    Working Together, From a Distance: A qualitative exploration into how to best tailor our public health to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • University of Minnesota COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant
    Minnesota Families: Understanding how to best tailor our public health responses to support families during COVID-19

Principal Investigator

Katie Loth, PhD, MPH
Experts@Minnesota Profile


Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE
University of Minnesota

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH
University of Minnesota

James Hodges, PhD
University of Minnesota

Jenn Fischer, RD, LD
Temple University

Ross Crosby, PhD
Sanford Health Research