Eating behavior and nutrition characteristics of preschool children


  • T.V. Sorokman Bukovynian State Medical University, Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Ukraine
  • I.Ya. Lozyuk Bukovynian State Medical University, Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Ukraine



nutrition of preschool children, eating behavior


According to modern ideas, nutrition at an early age not only ensures the normal functioning of all organs and systems, physical growth, psycho;emotional development and health of the child, but also forms a state of metabolism that determines health in the coming years.

Purpose — to investigate the state of nutrition and peculiarities of eating behavior of preschool children.

Materials and methods. The research was conducted on the basis of children's preschool institutions in Chernivtsi during 2019–2020. At the first stage, a survey of 109 children aged 4–6 years was conducted. The average daily nutrition was calculated using a computer program «ASCON-nutrition» with analysis of 38 ingredients and energy value.

Results. It was found that 72 children (66.1%) were breastfed. The transition to artificial feeding before 3 months of age was registered in one third of children (32.1%); from 3 to 6 months — in another third of children (31.2%), 21.4% of mothers indicated early introduction of supplementary feeding, almost the same number — for late introduction of supplementary feeding. In 25.6% of cases the model of «clean plate» was registered, in 19.3% — the model «the more the better», in 10.1% — the model of «getting rid of negative feelings and physical pain», in 33.1% — model of «manipulation». The connection between the motivation of parents (r=0.67), especially mothers (r=0.79) to eat healthy food and the variety of taste preferences of their children was revealed. In most children, unbalanced diets were registered, which led to a deficiency of macro; and micronutrients (vitamins B1, B2, A, PP) and trace elements (iodine, calcium, iron, zinc). Deficiency of linolenic and linoleic acids and caloric content is noted.

Conclusions. Disadaptive diets negatively affect taste habits and eating behavior, contribute to the development of deficiency of minerals and vitamins.

The research was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki declaration. The study protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee of all participating institution. The informed consent of the patient was obtained for conducting the studies.

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.


Baturin AK, Keshabyants EE, Safronova AM, Netrebenko OK. (2013). Programmirovanie pitaniem: Pitanie detey starshe goda. Pediatriya. 92 (2): 91-99.

Derks I, Sijbrands E, Wake M et al. (2018). Eating behavior and body composition across childhood: a prospective cohort study. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity. 15 (1): 96.; PMid:30285789 PMCid:PMC6167809

Durneva MYu. (2015). Formirovanie pischevogo povedeniya: put ot mladenchestva do podrostka. Obzor zarubezhnyih issledovaniy. Klinicheskaya i spetsialnaya psihologiya. 4 (3): 1-19.

Ek A, Sorjonen, K, Eli K et al. (2016). Associations between Parental Concerns about Preschoolers' Weight and Eating and Parental Feeding Practices: Results from Analyses of the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire, the Child Feeding Questionnaire, and the Lifestyle Behavior Checklist. PloS one. 11 (1): e0147257.; PMid:26799397 PMCid:PMC4723125

Hughes SO, Power TG, O'Connor TM et al. (2021). Maternal feeding style and child weight status among Hispanic families with low-income levels: a longitudinal study of the direction of effects. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity. 18 (1): 30.; PMid:33588844 PMCid:PMC7885249

Lopez NV, Schembre S, Belcher BR et al. (2018). Parenting styles, food-related parenting practices, and children's healthy eating: A mediation analysis to examine relationships between parenting and child diet. Appetite. 128: 205-213.; PMid:29920321 PMCid:PMC7529118

Maslow A. (1999). Motivatsiya i lichnost. SPb.: Evraziya: 338.

Modjadji P, Molokwane D, Ukegbu PO. (2020). Dietary Diversity and Nutritional Status of Preschool Children in North West Province, South Africa: A Cross Sectional Study. Children (Basel, Switzerland). 7 (10): 174.; PMid:33050271 PMCid:PMC7600000

MOZ Ukraine. (2017). Pro zatverdzhennia norm fiziolohichnykh potreb naselennia Ukrainy v osnovnykh kharchovykh rechovynakh i enerhii. Nakaz MOZ No. 1073 vid 03.09.2017. URL:

Thomas R, Siliquini, R, Hillegers MH, Jansen PW. (2020). The association of adverse life events with children's emotional overeating and restrained eating in a population-based cohort. The International journal of eating disorders. 53 (10): 1709-1718.; PMid:32702148 PMCid:PMC7589411

US. (2020). Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition.

Zaharova IN, Dmitrieva YuA, Gordeeva EA. (2012). Ot chego zavisit formirovanie vkusovyih predpochteniy u mladentsev. Voprosyi sovremennoy pediatrii. 11 (6): 69-74.

Zaychenko AI, Volgarev MN, Bondarev GI i dr. (1984). Metodicheskie rekomendatsii po voprosam izucheniya fakticheskogo pitaniya i sostoyaniya zdorovya naseleniya v svyazi s harakterom pitaniya. M: 113.

Zdobnov OI, Tsiganenko VO, PeresIchniy MI. (2002). ZbIrnik retseptur strav ta kulInarnih virobIv dlya pIdpriEmstv gromadskogo harchuvannya. K.: A.S.K: 656.





Original articles