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ERIC Number: EJ768995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
The Food Friends: Encouraging Preschoolers to Try New Foods
Bellows, Laura; Anderson, Jennifer
Young Children, v61 n3 p37-39 May 2006
In response to concerns about children's eating behaviors, the Colorado Nutrition Network developed and tested Food Friends--Making New Foods Fun for Kids. The program was designed as a 12-week social marketing campaign aimed at encouraging preschool-age children to try new foods, such as Ugli Fruit, couscous, and daikon radish. Tasting novel foods is built into all 12 weeks of programming because, for preschoolers, familiarity leads to preference and thus to intake. Foods chosen for Food Friends are based on the responses to food frequency questionnaires completed by a sample of parents of three- to five-year-olds in Colorado families with low incomes. To introduce new foods, teachers use strategies emphasized through the program. They follow the Seven Simple Tips, which include: (1) Make food fun; (2) Keep offering new foods; (3) Be a good role model by eating new foods with children; (4) Let children choose new foods; (5) Help children learn about new foods; (6) Try offering one new food at a time; and (7) Avoid forcing children to try new foods. Several assessments of the success of the Food Friends program document changes in young children's behavior. The strategies applied in Food Friends can be used by teachers, caregivers, and parents in a wide range of settings to encourage children to try new foods.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Community; Parents; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado