Title: Effects of Mothers’ Diets during Pregnancy and Lactation on Children’s Food Preferences and Dietary Patterns

Time Frame: 60-90 minutes

Brief Description: The diets of Americans are in need of improvement. Dietary preferences are a major driver of dietary patterns; thus, efforts to promote preferences for healthy foods hold much potential for improving diet quality and reducing diet-related disease burden. This presentation will outline how the development of flavor preferences begins in utero and continues during lactation. This presentation will also illustrate how these preferences are initially shaped by the transmission of flavors from the mothers’ diet to the child through the amniotic fluid and breast milk. Implications for promoting healthy dietary patterns during pregnancy and lactation, as well as responsive feeding practices during the introduction of complementary foods and beyond, will be discussed.


Title: Brexting, Binge Watching, and Other forms of Maternal Digital Media use during Infant Feeding: Should we be Worried?

Time Frame: 45-60 minutes

Description: The popular press and lay-media are filled with ominous warnings about the dangers of “brexting” (breastfeeding and texting), Netflix binges, and other forms of digital media use during mother-infant interactions. Are these valid concerns? Within this talk, we’ll review the research in this field and discuss the current evidence for potential influences of parent digital media use (e.g. watching TV, using a smart phone or tablet) on the quality of parent-child interactions. Of primary focus will be whether maternal digital media use during infant feeding affects the quality and outcome of feeding interactions. We’ll also discuss the potential benefits of digital media during the transition to parenthood to provide a balanced perspective on this topic. Implications for further research and clinical practice will be discussed.


Title: Promoting Responsive Bottle-feeding to Reduce Overfeeding and Prevent Rapid Weight Gain during Infancy

 Time Frame: 60-90 minutes

Description: Bottle-feeding is a strong predictor of risk for rapid weight gain during infancy, with previous research illustrating independent and combined effects of milk type (formula vs breast milk) and feeding mode (bottle vs directly from the breast) on increasing infants’ risk for overfeeding, impaired satiety responsiveness, and rapid weight gain. However, few studies and intervention programs have examined how to better support bottle-feeding families to reduce risk for overfeeding and rapid weight gain. Further compounding this issue, bottle-feeding caregivers report receiving inadequate support related to learning appropriate and healthy feeding practices. Although reduction of bottle usage through promotion of exclusive breastfeeding is ideal – and has been the focus of many health promotion efforts – bottle-feeding remains a ubiquitous part of infant feeding, especially among populations who are already at higher risk for rapid weight gain, such as families who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This presentation will highlight recent research examining mechanisms underlying associations between bottle-feeding and overfeeding leading to rapid weight gain.