Research Article  |   April 2019
Latino-American Mothers’ Perspectives on Feeding Their Young Children: A Qualitative Study
Author Affiliations
  • Tsu-Hsin Howe, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, NY; tsuhsin.howe@nyu.edu
  • Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OT, FAOTA, was Professor Emeritus, Department of Occupational Therapy, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, NY.
  • Ching-Fan Sheu, PhD, is Professor, Institute of Education, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 2019
Latino-American Mothers’ Perspectives on Feeding Their Young Children: A Qualitative Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 04 2019, Vol. 73, 7303205110p1-7303205110p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2019.031336
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 04 2019, Vol. 73, 7303205110p1-7303205110p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2019.031336
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We explored the cultural beliefs that influence Latino-American mothers’ feeding practices with their young children and the sources they referenced in making food choices for their children.

METHOD. We conducted semistructured interviews with 12 Latino-American mothers focusing on their experiences of feeding their young children. Data analysis, based in grounded theory, consisted of interview transcription, content analysis, coding, and theme development.

RESULTS. We identified four themes summarizing the mothers’ feeding practices: (1) “Grandma knows best,” (2) “I want my child(ren) to be healthy,” (3) “always soup and always rice,” and (4) “mealtime is family time.”

CONCLUSION. Occupational therapy practitioners need to obtain accurate information from families about feeding practices and to understand and interpret those practices in broader cultural contexts to design and implement targeted feeding intervention strategies that avoid stereotyping or misinterpreted information. To promote family-centered, meaningful interventions, practitioners must understand the cultural influences on feeding practices and be sensitive to mothers’ needs.