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Children, food and family mealtimes


Participant Information Sheet

Dear potential participant,

You have been invited to take part in our research study that is being run by staff in the School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway. Before you decide to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take as much time as you need to read this information. You should only consent to participate in this research study when you feel you understand what is being asked of you, and you have had enough time to think about your decision.


Purpose of the Study

This study explores parents’ approach to food and mealtimes over a 24 month period. We are interested in learning more about parents' beliefs and feeding practices. In particular we are interested in what influences fussy eating behaviours in children and how fussy eating might impact family meals. We are looking for parents who are over 18 years and have a child aged 2-7 years.


For this study, we need parents of children who do not have a diagnosis of a medical condition or disability that affects their eating behaviour. If your child has a medical condition or a disability, we recognise that your experiences and needs may be different and may not be reflected by the questions asked in this particular study.


What will happen to me if I take part?

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire (online) and to provide information about yourself and your child. Examples of items in the questionnaire include; “My child enjoys tasting new foods”, “I don't want to prepare different foods for different family members”, and “I want the whole family to help out with mealtimes”. Parents can choose to agree or disagree with these statements.


How long will my part in the study last?

Your part in this research study should last no longer than 25 minutes each time you complete the questionnaire. The same questionnaire will be distributed again by email, approximately 12 months later and 24 months later. There are 3 surveys in total over a 24 month period. After taking part in all three questionnaires, your participation in this research study is complete.


Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part, you will be asked to give consent. If you decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw and without giving a reason. A decision to withdraw or a decision not to take part, will not affect you in any negative way.

You are free to opt out of future surveys at any point. If you wish to withdraw your data from a previous survey that you have completed as part of our study, we ask you to notify us within 4 weeks of completing the survey.


What are the possible benefits in taking part?

There may not be any specific benefits to you in taking part. However, for those interested we will provide you with a copy of our results. We will also provide families with information on where to access more information on feeding children and these websites will contain advice on feeding challenges or queries that parents might have.


What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There are no foreseeable risks associated with taking part. Some of the questions may cause you to think about the way in which you support your child’s feeding habits. Please see links below for supports if you require further support.


All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. We do not require any names. We ask for your email address to enable us to contact you as there are 3 surveys over 24 months.


What happens at the end of the study?

Results of the research will be published and presented at conferences. You will not be identified in any report or publication. If you wish to be given a copy of any reports resulting from the research, please respond to this question below.


What happens if I change my mind during the study?

You are entitled to change your mind about participating in this study without disadvantage or penalty. If you would like to withdraw your data from this study, feel free to contact the researcher.


If you wish to withdraw your data from a previous survey that you have completed as part of our study, we ask you to notify us within 4 weeks of completing the survey.


This questionnaire should be completed by the person who is responsible for preparing food and feeding the child.


Research Team:

This study is being overseen by Dr. Caroline Heary, Hazel Wolstenholme, Laura Gale (based in the School of Psychology) and Dr. Colette Kelly (based in the School of Health Promotion) in the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Who do I contact for more information or if I have further concerns?

If more information is requested, or if concerns arise prior to, during or after you have competed the questionnaire feel free to contact a member of our team for any additional information that you may need. All queries should be directed to the Project Lead, Caroline Heary.

The Project Lead can be contacted at: caroline.heary@nuigalway.ie


If you have any concerns about this study and wish to contact someone in confidence, you may contact: Dr. John Bogue, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway.


If you are experiencing any concerns relating to the topics dealt with in this questionnaire, please talk to your GP who may be able to refer you to an appropriate service. In addition, here are some useful resources about healthy eating and child feeding:


Factsheets and advice on healthy eating:

www.safefood.eu www.healthpromotion.ie  https://www.bordbia.ie/consumer/aboutfood/nutrition/pages/nutritionfortwotofives.aspx https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/healthy-eating-guidelines/ 


Child feeding guide website and app:



Family support services:









We are interested in your experiences of feeding your child (aged 2-7years). We would like to hear about your views and feeding goals. There are no right or wrong answers in this survey. We are just interested in your ideas.



There are 31 questions in this survey.

If you wish to take part in this study, please tick the box below.

By ticking the box you are agreeing to the following:

  1.  I confirm that I have read the information sheet for the above study and have had the opportunity to ask questions.   
  2. I am satisfied that I understand the information provided and have had enough time to consider the information.  
  3. I agree to the research team contacting me again in 12 months and 24 months for future surveys as part this study    
  4. I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason, without my legal rights being affected.