In a study of preschoolers (aged 3-5), researchers have found that:
- A child’s taste preferences begin at home and
- The tastes that they crave most often involve salt, sugar and fat
- And that these young children could equate their taste preference to brand-name fast-food and soda products.
As a result, the researchers have concluded that given our problem with childhood obesity, “waiting for our children to begin school to teach them how to make wise food choices is a poor decision.”
By the time that they are introduced to healthy eating options at their elementary school, their taste preferences have been strongly influenced towards salt, sweet & fat and are pushing them to reject healthy food and reach for the more familiar junk-food option.
- “If we want to pursue intervention, we probably need to start earlier.”
- Parents need to seriously consider the types of foods they expose their young children to at home and in restaurants.
- “Repeated exposure builds taste preferences.”
- How preferences develop – audio file
- University of Oregon
- Journal of Public Policy & Marketing