Healthy, Happy Families Express
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Healthy, Happy Families Express

  • Author(s): Ontai, Lenna
  • Horowitz, Marcel
  • Rosales, Drusilla
  • Spezzano, Theresa
  • Rios, Karina Diaz
  • Mendoza, Concepcion
  • Manglallan, Sue
  • Pressman, Jona
  • et al.

These eight handouts are designed to help parents learn positive parenting skills that promote healthy eating habits in children between 2 and 12 years of age. Each handout focuses on a specific topic identified as relevant through surveys of educators in federally funded nutrition education programs. The content of the handouts is based on empirical research that shows the following: • Parents control and shape the environment in which their children develop. • Parent-child interactions, including those around food, are most effective when done with warmth and sensitivity. • Parents who have more positive parenting skills are more likely to have positive interactions with their children around food. • Parents need to begin shaping healthy eating habits early. Children’s eating habits begin forming as early as 3 years of age. • Promoting positive parenting is beneficial to all parent-child interactions, including feeding. • Positive parenting is associated with better dietary behaviors of children. Can be used with the rest of the Healthy Happy Families curricula.

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