Background: Given the protective effects of shared family mealtimes and the importance of family in the Hispanic culture, this context should be explored further to determine how it can be leveraged and optimized for interventions. Objective: This study aimed to explore contextual factors associated with family mealtimes in Mexican and Puerto Rican families. Methods: A total of 63 mothers participated in 13 focus group interviews across 4 states. Thematic analysis was used to analyze transcripts. Results: Seven overarching themes were identified through the thematic analysis. Themes reflected who was present at the mealtime, what occurs during mealtime, the presence of television, the influence of technology during mealtime, and how mealtimes have changed since the mothers were children. Conclusions: Hispanic mothers may be adapting family mealtimes to fit their current situations and needs, keeping the television and other devices on during mealtimes, and making additional meals for multiple family members to appease everyone's tastes. All of these are areas that can be incorporated into existing culturally tailored obesity prevention programs to help families lead healthier lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18292
JournalJMIR Pediatrics and Parenting
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Family mealtimes
  • Healthy eating
  • Hispanic culture
  • Obesity prevention
  • Parenting and mealtimes
  • Technology at the table

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Informatics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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