ERIC Number: ED190256
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Experiential Determinants of Children's Food Preferences.
Birch, Leann Lipps
This discussion focuses on elements of children's immediate experience that influence their food preferences. Some evidence suggests that there may be sensitive periods early in life that are critical for the formation of food preferences and aversions. Additionally, the familiarity and the sweetness of foods appear to be important determinants of children's food preferences. While studies of consumption patterns have frequently been used in making inferences about the food preferences of children, this practice is not appropriate because consumption patterns are determined by factors other than preference. Three elements of contact with food that potentially contribute to the formation of food preferences are the food, the person and the context. The need to maintain homeostasis, obesity, the sensory capacity of persons, and conditioned experience appear to be related to food preferences. Social-affective context influences the formation of food preferences in several ways. For example, exposing target children to peers who selected and ate the target children's nonpreferred foods was sufficient to change preference and consumption patterns of target children. Presenting foods as rewards and presenting them noncontingently paired with adult attention produced persistent and significant increases in the preferences of preschool children. Implications for child rearing practices in day care settings are indicated. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Child Rearing, Children, Context Effect, Day Care, Early Experience, Food, Individual Characteristics, Preschool Education
To be published as a chapter in "Current Topics in Early Childhood Education". Vol. 3, 1980. Lilian Katz (ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Childhood Education), Editor. Ablex Publishing Corp., 355 Chestnut St., Norwood, NJ 07648 ($17.50).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Food Consumption; Food Preferences
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Children of the 80's (Urbana, IL, November 5-7, 1979).