Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Learning to like vegetables : the importance of exposure in the food preference development of preschool children
Author: Ahern, Sara Marie
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Despite a 5-a-day recommendation many children do not consume sufficient fruits and vegetables, with vegetable intake particularly low. Children’s strong dislike for vegetables is a barrier to intake (Nicklaus, Boggio, Chabanet & Issanchou, 2005; Zeinstra, Koelen, Kok, & de Graaf, 2007) indicating a need to develop strategies that will help children to develop the necessary preferences. Research has suggested that increasing children’s familiarity with vegetables through repeated experience is crucial in enhancing preferences. The current thesis used quantitative and qualitative methods to explore children’s earliest experiences with vegetables in order to identify critical periods and factors that impact upon liking and intake. Using experimental methods it then examined the effectiveness of strategies currently being employed by parents to promote vegetables in young children. The data presented confirms that familiarising children with a variety of vegetables via repeated taste exposure is fundamental in increasing children’s preference for and intake of novel vegetables. Results suggest that the effects of experience are mediated by age, supporting the idea of a ‘sensitive period’ during which children are more receptive to new tastes. The onset of food neophobia in the preschool years appears to limit the effects of repeated exposure but significant increases in consumption are observed. A theoretical model of children’s vegetable intake contributes to understanding of food preference development and highlights a need to focus interventions on children who might be more resistant to the effects of exposure.
Supervisor: Hetherington, Marion ; Caton, Samantha Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available