Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Mary G. Roseman

Second Advisor

Hyun-Woo Joung

Third Advisor

Yunhee Chang

Relational Format



Studies have discovered barriers that prevent parents from feeding children nutritiously. There is sparse information about whether parents intentionally feed their children functional foods, raising the question of whether there are barriers that inhibit parents when feeding their children nutritiously. This study of parents in two Mississippi school districts in 2015 ( n=193) examined the barriers parents face to consuming health-promoting, functional foods as well as the relation of these barriers to feeding their children functional foods. The age group 45–54 was less likely to perceive taste as a barrier (p<.05) to consuming functional foods, while individuals with some college education (p<.05) and individuals with an associate degree (p<.05) were more likely to perceive taste as a barrier. Additionally, the age group 55+ was less likely to perceive availability of food as a barrier (p<.01). Lastly, the females were more likely than males to perceive knowledge as a barrier ; lack of knowledge of foods’ health benefits was significant for the female gender (p<.05) to consuming functional foods. This study also found a significant relationship between parent’s lack of knowledge of health-promoting foods when feeding their children functional foods for specific health benefits. The findings concluded that parents who perceived lack of knowledge as a barrier to consuming functional foods, were more likely to feed their children foods with health benefits for cancer prevention (p<.01), heart health ( p<.05), and other health benefits (p<.01), while not for bone, digestive, and weight health. Further investigation shothat foods beneficial for cancer prevention, heart health, and other health benefits are among food items incorporated in children’s diets through foods such as fruits, vegetables, fortified foods/beverages, etc.

Included in

Nutrition Commons



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