Authors investigate some maternal beliefs about children’s dietary habits. Studies have shown educational class differences in families affect eating restrictions: more instructed mothers limit more unhealthy foods. Aims of the study were assessing maternal beliefs about unhealthy foods in children’s diets and why they must be limited. Authors hypothesized differences in maternal criteria of choice: health and nutritional properties of foods as important criteria for mothers with higher instructional level, and taste and children preferences as more influential factors for less instructed mothers. Method. Participant were 35 mothers with a low instructional grade (primary or junior high school), and 93 had a meddle- high grade (high school or graduate). Data were collected by means of a self-report questionnaire that included a list of 20 common foods typical of Italian school-children diet and 12 items designed to reflect mothers’ beliefs and attitudes for children’s eating choices. Results. Mothers’ groups were different for motivation: low instructional group was more focused on excessive eating, while mothers with higher instructional level were more interested to healthy problems. These results are relevant if we consider parents as important ecocultural factors in promoting more general healthy eating behaviors in children (Christensen, 2004).
Keywords: Child dietary, health, maternal beliefs