Child eating melonAbout us

We are a group of academics that undertake research looking at various aspects of children's eating behaviour and parenting at mealtimes. Importantly, we are also mothers to young children.

Our recent projects have included looking at:

  • The influence of parents as role models on children's eating behaviours
  • The influence of peers and friends on children's eating behaviours
  • Sibling differences in child eating behaviour
  • Factors influencing child weight gain and weight loss
  • Mood and children's appetite and eating behaviours
  • Parents' feeding practices and children's eating behaviours
  • Child temperament and parents' feeding practices

We regularly give talks to parents, healthcare, and childcare professionals to communicate our research findings and many of our projects involve teaming-up with NHS services, Sure Start centres, and local schools.

We know that difficult mealtimes can be frustrating, stressful and upsetting, for both the parent and child. We also know that many parents look for information on feeding problems, but often cannot find credible and useful advice. Because of this, we have developed a website and app to empower parents with the information and skills that they need to understand and manage common feeding problems and to promote a healthy diet. We hope that you will find it useful.

For more information on our research, please click on the names below or visit the LUCRED website.

Who we are

Contact us

We are specialist children's feeding researchers at Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders and Behaviours (LUCRED). We are also mothers to young children.

Dr Gemma Witcomb
is a Lecturer at Loughborough University whose work includes identifying effective strategies and creating interventions to help parents with child feeding.
Dr Claire Farrow
is a Reader at Aston University with over 15 years' experience of conducting research about children's eating behaviour.
Dr Emma Haycraft
is a Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University whose research expertise includes parenting during mealtimes.


Winners of the 2014 Loughborough University Enterprise Award for Social Impact.


For parents worried about their child's health, please contact your GP.

For media enquiries or to report technical problems, please contact

Please also see our Facebook page for discussions and notifications. Please note that we monitor the page periodically and the views expressed by members should not be taken as our own.


We wish to thank the Garfield Weston Foundation for their support to LUCRED and local Mum and Photographer Michelle McCoy for contributing images used on this website.

LUCRED_logoThis website has been developed by specialist children's feeding researchers at Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders and Behaviours.


Website by Lighthouse