Fruit and vegetable consumption in children and their mothers: Moderating effects of child sensory sensitivity

Helen Coulthard, Jacqueline Blissett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    108 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A cross-sectional study was carried out to ascertain the relative contribution of food neophobia and taste sensitivity to the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed in a typical day by 73, 2-5-year-old children attending nurseries in the South Birmingham area, UK. Sensory processing, parental control, child food neophobia and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption of both mothers and children were measured. Parental and child FV consumption in the sample were positively associated (p < 0.001). Moderated regression analyses showed that taste/smell sensitivity, but not food neophobia or tactile sensitivity, moderated the relationship between maternal and child FV consumption. In particular, children who were sensitive to taste/smell stimuli ate fewer fruit and vegetables, regardless of their mothers FV consumption. This finding implies that those children, who are sensitive to taste/smell stimuli, may be less likely to model maternal FV consumption. For these children, a more gradual route to encouraging acceptance, with attention to small sensory changes in foods, may be necessary to increase FV consumption.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)410-415
    Number of pages6
    JournalAppetite
    Volume52
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

    Keywords

    • Food neophobia
    • Fruit and vegetable consumption
    • Parental control
    • Sensory sensitivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Psychology(all)

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