Childrens Eating Behavior - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1610 Words
Date:  2021-05-25

Eating behaviors of children develop from the very first years of their lives. In most cases, children learn what, when as well as how much to eat as a result of their direct experiences with food. They can also learn about food as a result of observing the behavior of grownups with food. During the childrens growth and development, there are various factors in their immediate environment that influence their eating behaviors. This essay is a discussion of the influences on childrens eating behavior and an analysis of a childrens book and its influence on the childrens eating behavior. The essay also offers a discussion of the possible interventions and future directions on managing the influences on the childrens eating behaviors.

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Part A: The Influences of Childrens Eating Behavior

Food Abstraction

With the continued development of the IT sector, one of the factors that greatly enhance the childrens eating behavior is food abstraction. It is a methodology employed in arranging and enhancing the appeals of food on images using computer systems. Today, numerous children in different parts of the world have access to mobile technological devices such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, tablets and laptops among others. As such, through the usage of internet connectivity, from a tender age, children are exposed to food abstraction from various food marketing corporations. Through abstraction, the images and attractiveness of different forms of food are enhanced so as to increase their appeal to the targeted audience. In addition, food abstraction events can be facilitated through social media sites and childrens website among others.

Parenting Style

Past researches have validated that there is a close connection between the parenting style and the eating behaviors of children. This is because children first learn about what they should eat from their parents. If a parent is not keen on the quantity and quality of food that he/she may offer his/her child, the child may develop poor eating habits. Consequently, this may lead to various eating complications such as childhood obesity among others. This phenomenon can be substantiated by a publication authored by Ventura and Birch (2008) that supported that poor parenting style could affect the childrens eating as well as weight status.


Media advertising is also a primary factor that can influence young childrens eating behavior. Due to the increased competition for numerous food products in the market, most corporations around the world advertise most of its products on the television. In most cases, such advertisements are characterized by enticing images of various forms of food aimed at enhancing the need for the targeted audience to consume such products. Since most young children have access to media sources, such as the television sets, their continued exposure to such advertisements gradually influences their eating behaviors.


From a tender age, most children develop the need to experiment with different types of meals. In most cases, the majority of the children try the different forms of meals accessible to them at home. As a result, they develop their preferences for certain meals depending on the foods taste, quantity and accessibility among others. For this reason, parents must be considerate of the types and quantities of meals that they expose to their children, while they are at a tender age.

Part B: The Description and Analysis of the Book

Brief Description of the Plot

The publication Bread and Jam for Frances is a publication that was published by Russell Hoban in 2008 CITATION Rus08 \l 1033 (Hoban, 2008). The book features a childrens story with a special emphasis on food. The story of the book revolves around Frances, a fictitious character in the plot of the story, who is a fussy eater. Frances has a strong craving for bread and jam, and she adamantly refuses to consume anything else. This is portrayed by the instance where she refuses to consume the soft-boiled egg offered to her by her parent. During lunch time, she craving for bread and jam compels her to trade her packed chicken-salad sandwich.

Targeted Age for the Book

Hobans book is designed to be read by children between the age of 4 and 8 years. These are the young developing children who are at level 2 and below in elementary level institutions. This age group best fits the book because they are aggressive in acquiring substantial knowledge pertaining the various factors that affect them in their environment by reading graphical narrative publications.

Depiction of Food in the Book

In the publication, a special emphasis on bread and jam as a favorite diet for young children is portrayed. This is through the little Frances who refuses to eat any other meal except bread and Jam. In addition, all the other delicious meals that young children prefer to consume are also illustrated. Such include the soft-boiled eggs as well as the chicken-salad sandwich among others.

Message Learned by Children About Food from a Tender Age

The message depicted by the publication about food is that food is a primary phenomenon that must be consumed for growth and development. An emphasis on the favorite types of meals that are normally consumed by most children is illustrated.


In the publication, both the healthy and unhealthy meals were included. Among the healthy meals include a chicken-salad sandwich and a soft-boiled egg. Eggs are rich sources of proteins, which is an essential nutritional factor that should be consumed by young growing children. On the other hand, although jam is a decent additive to a slice of bread, it contains a high volume of sugar that could be harmful to the health of growing children. Prolonged consumption of jam could cause the decay of the childrens teeth or expose them to critical ailments such as diabetes.

In addition, the positioning of the food in the book was decent and orderly to enhance the appeal of consuming meals among the developing children. From the publication, children learn that meals are essential for their growth and development. This publication impacts a positive image on the importance of consuming different forms of food. This was achieved by the efforts employed by the little badgers mother in trying to make her daughter consume other meals apart from bread and jam. From the publication, young children can learn that different forms of food have differing nutritional values essential for their good health. In addition, the morals that can be attained from the publication are sufficient. For this reason, there is no argument that should be employed for changing the story.

Part C: Interventions and Future Directions

There are various interventions that can be enacted when managing eating behaviors among young children. According to a publication authored by Anzman-Frasca et al. (2013), employing negative temperament can be employed as an effective moderator of eating intervention effects of children during infancy. According to the publication, this strategy can be employed when managing eating behavior among children affected by childhood obesity (Anzman-Frasca et al. 2013). In this publication, the variable is the negative temperaments, and it can be changed by altering the approach that a parent or a grown up may have when remedying the issue of eating behavior in young children.

According to a publication authored by Liu et al. (2013), the use of behavioral economics in the structuring of better and more effective policies can be used as an environmental-level intervention for controlling food intake behavior. The publication was focused on enlightening persons in the United States on the advantages of developing food consumption policies that offer the public information on the nutritional content of different foods (Liu et al. 2013). The variable in this context was the behavioral economics, and it is important because parents can know the nature of diet they offer to their children, especially at a tender age. This environmental-level intervention can be changed by enforcing effective policies aimed at promoting behavioral economics during food consumption.

After everything learned in the semester, the most fruitful approach that can be employed in promoting healthy eating in children would be to offer advice and information pertaining the nutritional value of different meals. This is because, while growing up, young children are exposed towards numerous forms of food through a variety of influences such as the media among others. Nevertheless, through such influences, sufficient information about the consumption of different meals is not offered. As such, the perfect message that should be offered to children is that although different meals may appear enticing and delicious to them, not all can be used to promote their personal health.


As a concluding thought, I feel overwhelmed given the state of the current environment in relation to eating behavior among children. This is because, from an immensely tender age, most children are subjected to multiple influences that can affect the forms of meals that they consume. However, no sufficient information is offered to them pertaining the advantages and disadvantages of consuming different forms of food. As a proper intervention for this issue, the government should enforce effect legislations or policies that should mandate all food manufactures and produces to offer sufficient information to the public pertaining the nutritional contents of different foods.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Anzman-Frasca, S., Stifter, C. A., Paul, I. M., & Birch, L. L. (2013). Negative Temperament as a Moderator of Intervention Effects in Infancy: Testing a Differential Susceptibility Model. Previous Science(15), 643-653. doi:10.1007/s11121-013-0408-4

Hoban, R. (2008). Bread and Jam for Frances. New York: HarperCollins. Liu, P. J., Wisdom, J., Roberto, C. A., Liu, L. J., & Ubel, P. A. (2013). Using Behavioral Economics to Design More Effective Food Policies to Address Obesity. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 1-19. doi:10.1093/aepp/ppt027

Ventura, A. K., & Birch, L. L. (2008). Does parenting affect children's eating and weight status? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5(15). doi:10.1186/1479-5868-5-15

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Childrens Eating Behavior - Paper Example. (2021, May 25). Retrieved from

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