The Baby's First Bites RCT: Evaluating a Vegetable-Exposure and a Sensitive-Feeding Intervention in Terms of Child Health Outcomes and Maternal Feeding Behavior During Toddlerhood

Merel S. Van Vliet, Janneke M. Schultink, Gerry Jager, Jeanne H.M. De Vries, Judi Mesman, Cees De Graaf, Carel M.J.L. Vereijken, Hugo Weenen, Victoire W.T. De Wild, Vanessa E.G. Martens, Hovannouhi Houniet, Shelley M.C. Van Der Veek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Parenting interventions during the first years of life on what and/or how to feed infants during complementary feeding can promote healthy eating habits. Objectives: An intervention promoting repeated exposure to a variety of vegetables [repeated vegetable exposure (RVE); what] and an intervention promoting responding sensitively to child signals during mealtime [video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting-feeding infants (VIPP-FI); how] were compared, separately and combined (COMBI), with an attention control condition (AC). Primary outcomes were vegetable consumption and self-regulation of energy intake; secondary outcomes were child anthropometrics and maternal feeding practices (sensitive feeding, pressure to eat). Methods: Our 4-arm randomized controlled trial included 246 first-time Dutch mothers and their infants. Interventions started when infants were 4-6 mo old and ended at age 16 mo. The present study evaluated effects at 18 (t18) and 24 (t24) mo of age. Vegetable acceptance was assessed using three 24-h dietary recalls, self-regulation of energy intake by an eating-in-the-absence-of-hunger experiment and mother-report, and maternal feeding behavior by observation and mother-report. Results: Linear mixed model and ANOVA analyses revealed no follow-up group differences regarding child vegetable intake or self-regulatory behavior. The proportion of children with overweight was significantly lower in the COMBI group, compared with the VIPP-FI group at t18 (2% compared with 16%), and with the AC group at t24 (7% compared with 20%), although this finding needs to be interpreted cautiously due to the small number of infants with overweight and nonsignificant effects on the continuous BMI z-score measure (P values: 0.29-0.82). Finally, more sensitive feeding behavior and less pressure to eat was found in the VIPP-FI and COMBI groups, compared with the RVE and AC groups, mostly at t18 (significant effect sizes: D = 0.23-0.64). Conclusions: Interventions were not effective in increasing vegetable intake or self-regulation of energy intake. Future research might usefully focus on risk groups such as families who already experience problems around feeding. This trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03348176.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-398
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume152
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • child
  • complementary feeding
  • infant
  • repeated exposure
  • responsive feeding
  • self-regulation of energy intake
  • sensitive feeding
  • toddler
  • vegetables

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