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Table 1 Categorization and distribution of responses regarding mothers’ perceptions of their own diets (n = 464)

From: Mothers’ perceptions of their own diets and the diets of their children at 2–3 years of age

Perception of own diet as healthy (n = 197, 43%) Perception of own diet as unhealthy (n = 267, 57%)
Themes/examples of responses n % Themes/examples of responses n %
“Because I don’t drink sodas or eat junk food”
“I avoid unhealthy foods, I avoid oils”
“I eat healthy things”
“Because I try to eat little sugar and salt”
“I don’t eat much fried food and I don’t mix carbohydrates”
“I eat homemade food”
135 70.7 Quality
“I eat a lot of bread”
“I don’t like fruits and vegetables much”
“I eat a lot of junk food”
“Because I eat more junk food than healthy food”
186 74.1
“I eat everything”
“I eat everything, I’m not picky”
“Because I try to vary my diet”
28 14.7 Regularity or routine
“I don’t eat lunch or breakfast”
“I don’t have a fixed eating schedule, I don’t eat breakfast”
“I eat few meals during the day”
75 29.9
Regularity or routine
“I am eating regularly”
“I am eating all the time”
“I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner”
“I make lunch and dinner every day”
17 8.9 Quantity
“I eat very little”
“I eat way too much”
“I don’t eat much…”
20 08
Perceived health outcomes
“Because I go to the doctor and I don’t have any problems”
“I’m trying to lose weight”
15 7.9 Perceived health outcomes
“After finding out I have cancer, I haven’t eaten properly”
“I’m about 10 kg overweight”
09 3.6
Does not know
“I don’t know”
“It’s healthy but I don’t know why”
11 5.8 Variety
“Because I spend the day eating bread and coffee”
“Because I’m not used to it and I don’t like some foods”
“I only eat the basics: rice and beans”
03 1.2
“I eat normally, I usually don’t eat much”
“Because I eat a lot”
“I don’t eat much”
07 3.7 Does not know
“I don’t know”
02 0.8
  1. Data lacking (n = 22): mothers who did not answer the question: “Do you consider your diet to be healthy? If so, why? If not, why not?”