- freely available
Nutrients 2010, 2(12), 1188-1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2121188
2. Experimental Section
2.2. Instrument Development
|Categories||Main questions (Probes were used to elicit more information, as needed)|
|Participant background information||Can you briefly describe the children for whom you are primarily responsible? What advice would you offer to other grandparent caregivers? What have been the biggest challenges to you as a grandparent caregiver? Briefly, what were the circumstances behind your becoming the primary caregiver of the child(ren)?|
|Nutrition-related attitudes||What roles do food play in the child(ren)’s life? Do you have any concerns about the child(ren)’s eating habits? What would you say are the main things that influence your food shopping decisions when you are buying food?|
|Nutrition education||What were the most helpful sources of nutrition advice when you parented the first time? What are the most helpful sources of nutrition advice now that you are parenting for the second time? What kinds of nutrition education have been helpful in the past or are currently helpful? Are there any nutrition-related topics you would have liked to have had information on in the past? Are there any nutrition-related topics you would like information on now or for the future? Do you think grandparents would use nutrition-education materials designed specifically for them? What kinds of materials would be helpful? Is there anything else you would like me to know?|
|Nutrition-related practices||What does your grandchild eat on a typical day? Where does the child typically eat? Where are the food, snacks, and beverages for you and the child(ren) obtained or purchased? Do have a Vision [aka Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP] card or other assistance to help with the children? What are some differences in some of the practices we just talked about concerning feeding your grandchild(ren) compared to what you did when you parented the first time? If the children spend time with their biological parents, how do feeding practices that we just talked about differ? What are some of the child(ren)’s favorite things to do? What kinds of physical activity do the child(ren) participate in? What kinds of things do you do to try to make sure your food is safe to eat?|
|Participant characteristics||Age, marital status, number of adults and children in household? Racial group you most identify with? Do you consider yourself Hispanic or Latino? Observed interviewee information included gender.|
2.5. Data Analysis
|Length of care, yrs||9||<1–18|
|Relationship to child(ren):|
|Number of skipped-generation children for which the caregiver was primarily responsible||1||1–4|
|Receiving governmental assistance for:|
|Food or other needs, or both||7||37%|
|Population density of residence|
|Urban: >150.0 residents per square mile (rpsm)||2||11%|
|Semi-urban: 40.0–149.9 rpsm||0||0%|
|Densely-settled rural: 20.0–39.9 rpsm||5||26%|
|Rural: 6.0–19.9 rpsm||5||26%|
|Frontier: <6.0 rpsm||7||37%|
3.2.1. Nutrition-Related Practices
126.96.36.199. More nutrition and food safety conscious
One food that I use more of with [my grandson] than I did with my kids: broccoli and cauliflower and more of the exotic fruits…. We’re more apt to try kiwi fruit or try more things. Sometimes [he] will see something and ask about it, and if we can afford it, we’ll get one and try it.(grandmother 11)
When we were first starting out, money was tighter, so when we shopped it was always the bargains. And sometimes the bargains weren’t always the healthiest choices…. They’re [packaged foods] always a bargain.... [Now] we want to eat healthier and want to eat the right way.(grandmother 20)
Hamburger Helper used to be a staple when our children were young and we were learning how to cook. But we don’t even do that [now] because there’s so much sodium and stuff.(grandmother 1)
Fewer packaged foods, I do more cooking [now]…. It was working and [taking care of] three [kids], and now it’s not working and [taking care of] one.(grandmother 13)
I used to make all my cakes from scratch. I don’t make cakes much anymore, but when I do, I use a box [mix].(grandmother 4)
[I use more packaged food now,] yes, it’s quicker. I used to cook pretty much from scratch. We do eat a lot of vegetables…. It was a bad habit to bake, but we don’t need all of that, so I quit. And we always have a dessert of some sort, but mostly fruit.(grandmother 3)
I don’t remember people being as nutrition-conscious or reading labels then…. Now I pay a lot more attention to them…. I’ve tried to be more conscious of what I feed him [my grandson]… [and] cook a lot of stuff from scratch.(grandmother 10)
Being the age I am, I can kind of tell what’s good and everything. But yeah, we’re real aware of what’s inside of a package and [my grandson] will read them [Nutrition Facts labels] off. And so (laughs), that’s one of the first things he does, is flips something over and says, “Do you know how much sodium is in here?”… Yeah, so we read a lot of labels.(grandmother 4)
I’ve been raising kids for 30 years and I really have not [used the Nutrition Facts labels]. I guess I just kind of depend on what I’ve done in the past.(grandmother 15)
We do the expiration date thing…. We buy food that doesn’t sit for long periods of time. That way it keeps it from going bad or not as nutritional further down the road.(grandmother 1)
Well, I make sure that the refrigerator’s on the right temperature. I make sure things are covered and put in the refrigerator. I make sure that the meat is cooked. I’m very conscious about that. I make sure that the raw vegetables are washed. I’m pretty conscious about food safety. And I teach the kids that if you want some fruit, you wash it first.(grandmother 7)
You don’t have time or pay attention to what they’re [your children] eating as working parents, because you want to get them fed as quickly as you possibly can. My focus entirely changed when I became a stay at home [grand]parent.(grandfather 2)
Well, we didn’t have very many dollars. I’ve got more dollars now, and just one kid.(great-grandmother 14)
188.8.131.52. On-the-go lifestyle reduces healthful eating
Every once in a while I try to tell him [my grandson] he’s eating too much junk but it doesn’t do no good…. I think he eats too much junk food, like McDonald’s every day…. ‘Cause he eats lunch out. The boys [my sons] didn’t have any place to go, they had to eat at school, and our daughter had to eat lunch there. We didn’t have McDonalds or Sonic or any of those things.(grandfather 9)
We probably do more frozen pizzas occasionally ‘cause she [my great-niece] likes to get them. I do make them from scratch sometimes, too. If they have them on sale, she’ll say, “Let’s get a pizza.” And they’re nice too, because you can pull them out and they’re fast.(great-aunt 23)
They [our grandsons] really don’t want to sit down for a good meal. All they want is junk food. Our kids didn’t really eat junk food. It seems like they’re [our grandsons] not here half the time.(grandfather 19)
We had a big garden… so I didn’t buy a lot of stuff. I canned a lot.(grandmother 3)
184.108.40.206. More electronics increase sedentary activities and purchases of advertised foods
He [my grandson] loves video games, TV, computer. But more than the strenuous activity, he’s more of a computer guy…. I’d say most of the day, until I get home and then I boot him out. So, quite a bit actually. If I didn’t work it would be different, but I’m not there to get him off.(grandmother 21)
Our kids never had video games, but as far as the rest of it [child rearing between generations], it’s pretty much the same.(grandmother 18)
Another thing is, my kids didn’t have all the electronic stuff. I’m not for it…. I pay attention to what games he [my grandson] plays.(grandmother 22)
The food he [my grandson] wanted went with the cartoon characters…. You had to have cereal. “Oh, they’ve got stuff in here. They’ve got all kinds of toys in this cereal, Granny.”(grandmother 12)
The kids have say-so, you know, things they see on TV. I think a lot [of what we buy] is influenced by the kids, what they want to eat. Basically, we don’t always buy it, but he’s [my grandson] pretty influenced, since he watches quite a bit of TV.(grandmother 21)
… Like that V-8 Fusion in that drink. We probably wouldn’t have known about it if he [my great-grandson] hadn’t seen it advertised. And I think it’s good for him.(great–grandmother 5)
220.127.116.11. Shifts in child feeding styles
The other five [children] would try anything. He [my great-grandson] don’t want to try [new foods].(great-grandfather 6)
When we first got him [my grandson], he was very picky, wouldn’t eat a lot, a wide variety of things…. With the first group of kids, we insisted on the table, and when we first got [my grandson], I insisted on the table again. But we’re kind of at that “forget it” age. (laughs) So we do eat together, but it’s in front of the television set.(grandmother 4)
When the kids grew up, it [eating meals] was always at the table. Now it’s sort of a grab and go.(grandmother 22)
But I’m more conscious with these kids than I was with my own kids, about nutrition and about everything else. I’m more cautious. What they eat, are they getting what they need? My kids had more snack foods than these kids do…. I have more time to plan meals, to prepare them…. Now we all have dinner together…. Sometimes they [my granddaughters] wouldn’t even eat if one of us didn’t say, “You will eat what’s on your plate.”… And I do see that they eat better than what my kids were allowed to. When my kids were growing up, if they were hungry when they came home from school, they’d grab something, and if they weren’t hungry for dinner, no big deal.(grandmother 7)
I think [I do] a little better [with feeding my grandson] than with the first group…. But I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned so much more.(grandmother 17)
18.104.22.168. Sources of child feeding advice
My mom… she was the best mom in the world. (laughs) And she was such a good cook. And it [the advice] was just from her…. And I think that you do what your parents did. So you just keep going down that road.(grandmother 15)
By the time the fourth one [of my children] came along, we moved to Kansas and we didn’t have a pediatrician, but I just fed her the same way as the other ones. And I think it was the doctor that got me going. And [my grandson] was raised the same way.(grandmother 12)
I was worried about the old group [my children] and tried to do my best, but I didn’t know what all was good at that time…. I knew the basics, coming from Mexico…. When it came to the children later on growing up, when I was babysitting children, the Health Department would provide information on the [Food Guide] Pyramid and nutrition. And that’s where I learned a lot of stuff for my kids, and grandkids, too.(grandmother 17)
3.2.2. Nutrition-Related Attitudes
22.214.171.124. Nutrition and safe food handling
I’ve had to change the way I think about food. And every once in a while, I get hungry for good ole’ comfort food. It’s hard to give it up. I think in this day and time, if kids grow up eating healthier, they won’t have to go through that.(grandmother 12)
I think with a child in the house, you’re more aware of what you’re eating and serving. And I think it’s probably going to benefit [my husband] and I in the long run, because we have the desire to be more healthier and to be around for her [my granddaughter] longer.(grandmother 20)
But trying to give them [my granddaughters] as good a start as possible nutritionally, and learning how to have pop [soft drinks] and stuff like that in moderation. You can have them, but you don’t need them all the time. But we try to encourage fruits and vegetables, and try to get them on a track of good nutrition, so that possibly when they have their own kids, they’ll do the same thing. And maybe that will extend to a healthy lifestyle.(grandfather 2)
Of course, I look for sugar content. I will not buy anything that has hydrogenated oils. I say I won’t buy—I will occasionally, but not on a regular basis. And if it has, it won’t be up on the second and third [ingredient]. I feel that that’s where a lot of our high cholesterol comes from and our health problems. And I do my best to stay away from that as my main things. Them are the two things I look for on the Nutrition Facts labels…. He [my grandson] knows I have to watch my carbs [carbohydrates] and eat a lot of salads [because of my diabetes]. And he knows that I eat what I’m not supposed to. But he is more aware of food, more than any of my kids was, of the impact it has on your health.(grandmother 22)
Probably not [helpful to use Nutrition Facts labels], because I pretty much know what’s, what goes together, and your starches and different ones…. And I try to get stuff that’s not so starchy, not so fattening. I do pay attention to the nutrition. Trying to get his [my grandson’s] habits better.(grandmother 3)
He’s [my grandson] so small and I want him to eat more than he eats, but he doesn’t eat a lot at one time. Now sometimes he’ll get into the junk food and he’ll eat a lot of unnutritious food at one time.(grandmother 13)
Well, the oldest one [of my grandchildren] wants a lot of junk food. I tell you what! Pizza, pizza, pizza, that kid could live off of pizza.(grandfather 19)
I wash vegetables, that’s for sure! I used to use the foam, but I’m kind of scared. The vegetables that you get around here, like spinach, says it’s washed, but I usually wash it again. And chicken I let soak in salt water. I am too particular sometimes.(grandmother 1)
‘Cause back when I was growing up and when my kids were small, if you had leftovers, you should let them sit and cool. You shouldn’t put hot stuff in the refrigerator. And I’ve learned since then that you don’t do that…. I always did what my folks did…. I didn’t use to think about it, but I do now.(grandmother 10)
I make sure that my meat is cooked properly, just make sure it’s done.… I had a meat thermometer, but I don’t use that…. I just know if it’s done if the chicken doesn’t have blood against the bone. It’s just something you pick up when you’ve cooked for so many years.(grandmother 8)
126.96.36.199. Food and economics
And economically, now days, in order to buy food that actually fills the kids up, you can’t afford good stuff, because it’s expensive to eat healthy. It’s very, very expensive to eat healthy. And that’s one of the main sacrifices that we’ve had to deal with, is groceries have become so much more expensive. Because we’re paying a lot more attention to what we’re buying.(grandfather 2)
Especially with the fruit. If it’s grapes and they’re three dollars, I’ll say, “We can’t get it today, [Granddaughter]. We’ll wait until it goes on sale.” And then I’ll go get a can of fruit cocktail or peaches or pears, because I always know that I can get those cheaper.(grandmother 20)
I’ll look at the fruits and vegetables and see what are the best, price-wise. I try to cut back on my shopping since I can’t do anything about gasoline [prices].(grandmother 8)
I haven’t had to be tight… but I’ve had to worry about the expense…. I buy the better eggs…. I have felt like I can buy him [my great-grandson] the better food, nutrition-wise.(great-grandmother 14)
I don’t skimp on anything. But I don’t buy the most expensive [foods], either. I do keep in mind to buy enough.(grandmother 7)
These boys [my great-nephews] are probably being fed better than ours were, because just the difference in our jobs and what we could afford to buy.(great-aunt 16)
188.8.131.52. Population-specific nutrition education materials
I would say more education on what makes you healthy on the outside, ‘cause they’re not going to care at this age [teens] what makes you healthy on the inside.(grandmother 4)
Maybe not a class but a group that you could ask if there’s a way to do it better or anybody got any suggestions of what would work if it’s not working for me. Just to know that “Sally Smith” down the street is doing the same thing, who’s raising her grandkids, so maybe I am doing something right. Maybe if you’re raising your grandkids, you don’t realize what’s out there that wasn’t available when you were raising your own kids.(grandmother 11)
I think just a refresher on how many times a week they [children] should get fruits and vegetables, and maybe some alternative foods for snacks that are not high in sugar and are better for them. I think that you would get more people to read something like that than to attend a class. Just to be able to do that when a person had time to sit down and read it or whatever.(great-aunt 16)
Mostly grandparents know by now how they’re going to buy food. At my age, there’s not a lot I haven’t learned about food because I’ve been there and done that.(grandmother 3, age 68 years)
I’ve been involved with my kids, my grandkids, and now my great-grandkids. But things have changed down through the years. Every ten years is different. And I think that if you don’t have some guidelines, you can’t keep up.(great-grandmother 14, age 80 years)
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