Study after study prove the same thing: Kids develop taste preferences early. We’re not surprised when we hear that a recent study finds “preschoolers prefer salt, sugar and fat and equate their taste preferences to brand-name fast-food and soda products.”
The latest confirmation is from a new study published in the journal Appetite. Their findings confirm teaching children to make smart food choices at an early age will stay with them for life.
According to the report, “Researchers at the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison involved developmental psychology and marketing for a two-part study. In the first experiment, 67 children ages 3 through 5 and their mothers were recruited from preschool classes in a large city. The mothers completed a 21-item survey to report on the taste preferences of their children.”
Logan loves banana French toast.
“The children responded to their perceived tastiness of 11 natural and 11 flavor-added foods. Photos of the foods were presented without labeling or packaging. Parents noted the desire for foods high in sugar, fat and salt, while their children showed preference for flavor-added foods that contained these ingredients.”
“Foods well within the preschoolers’ experience were presented in the experiment. Natural foods included apples, bananas, plain milk, fruit salad, water, green beans and tomatoes. Flavor-added foods included cheese puffs, corn chips, watermelon hard candy, jellybeans, banana soft candy, ketchup, colas and chocolate milk.”
“In the second experiment, researchers explored the association of preschoolers’ palate preferences to their emerging awareness of brands of fast foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. The study included 108 children from five urban preschools. They were shown 36 randomly sorted cards—12 related to each of two popular fast-food chains, six to each of the two leading cola companies and six depicting irrelevant products. All children were able to correctly place some of the product cards with the correct companies, indicating their differing levels of brand recognition.”
Junk Food Linked to Picky Eating
Fast food and soda brand knowledge is linked to the development of a preference for sugar, fat and salt in food. According to the findings of this recent study, “the relationships also appeared to reflect the children’s emotional experiences in a way that says the brand-named products deliver their developed taste preferences.”
Repeated exposure to foods, builds taste preferences. If you want to avoid having a picky eater exposure to whole foods from the time a baby is feeding him/herself is vital. In addition, processed and fast foods should be avoided at all times.
Already Have a Picky Eater?
It’s not too late. You can transform your picky eater into a healthy eater. Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater explains how you can turn mealtime conflict into happy multi-sensory experiences. In a short time, your picky eater will prefer whole foods: For a synopsis, Click Here.