Most previous studies of parental influences on children’s diets included just a single or a few types of food parenting practices, while parents actually employ multiple types of practices. Our objective was to investigate the clustering of parents regarding food parenting practices and to characterize the clusters in terms of background characteristics and children’s intake of energy-dense snack foods. A sample of Dutch parents of children aged 4–12 was recruited by a research agency to fill out an online questionnaire. A hierarchical cluster analysis (n
= 888) was performed, followed by k-means clustering. ANOVAs, ANCOVAs and chi-square tests were used to investigate associations between cluster membership, parental and child background characteristics, as well as children’s intake of energy-dense snack foods. Four distinct patterns were discovered: “high covert control and rewarding”, “low covert control and non-rewarding”, “high involvement and supportive” and “low involvement and indulgent”. The “high involvement and supportive” cluster was found to be most favorable in terms of children’s intake. Several background factors characterized cluster membership. This study expands the current knowledge about parental influences on children’s diets. Interventions should focus on increasing parental involvement in food parenting.
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