This study examined the effects of maternal healthy eating literacy (HEL) on healthy meal provision in Japanese families. We conducted an online cross-sectional survey with 1899 mothers of pre-school children. Participants were divided into two groups based on their median score of eating out and consuming convenience foods, and demographic variables were compared between these groups. We assessed associations between HEL and healthy meal provision using Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) and multiple linear regression with healthy meal provision as the dependent variable and HEL as the independent variable, adjusting for age, education, work styles, household income, number of children and whether participants lived with a partner. Mothers exhibiting high scores on eating out/consuming convenience foods were more likely to be employed (p =0.004), have only one child (p =0.034), have lower education (p=0.011) and exhibit lower healthy meal provision (p <0.001) and HEL scores (p <0.001). In addition, HEL was associated with healthy meal provision (β = 0.34, p <0.001). Among mothers with higher scores on eating out/consuming convenience foods, HEL was associated with healthy meal provision (β = 0.32, p <0.001). This study suggests that maternal HEL is associated with healthy meal provision regardless of the degree of eating out/consuming convenience food. Thus, interventions to improve maternal HEL can help mothers to provide healthy meals when they eat out or consume convenience foods as family meals.

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