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Responsive Feeding is Embedded in a Theoretical Framework of Responsive Parenting

While more research is needed, the benefits of responsive feeding on child nutrition and growth are expected to be as great as responsive parenting is to child outcome.

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  1. To examine evidence for the practice and developmental benefits of responsive parenting with a view to providing a theoretical basis for responsive feeding.

Design—Descriptive literature review



  1. Children benefit from responsive parenting and are likely to benefit from a responsive feeding environment, where their internal signals of hunger and satiety are recognized and met with prompt, emotionally supportive, contingent and developmentally appropriate responses.
  2. The short-term benefits of responsive feeding are expected to be children’s increasing attention to internal signals of hunger and satiety and to eating in a competent and responsible manner.
  3. The long-term benefits of responsive parenting are enhanced psychosocial, cognitive and language competence, and the long-term benefits of responsive feeding are likely to include healthy nutrition and growth.
  4. Research is needed to examine the short- and long-term impact of responsive feeding on children’s growth and development.