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.

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