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Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 107; doi:10.3390/nu9020107

Early Taste Experiences and Later Food Choices

1
Valentina De Cosmi Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Branch of Medical Statistics, Biometry, and Epidemiology “G. A. Maccacaro”, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
2
Silvia Scaglioni Fondazione De Marchi Department of Pediatrics, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
3
Carlo Agostoni Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients in Infancy)
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Abstract

Background. Nutrition in early life is increasingly considered to be an important factor influencing later health. Food preferences are formed in infancy, are tracked into childhood and beyond, and complementary feeding practices are crucial to prevent obesity later in life. Methods. Through a literature search strategy, we have investigated the role of breastfeeding, of complementary feeding, and the parental and sociocultural factors which contribute to set food preferences early in life. Results. Children are predisposed to prefer high-energy, -sugar, and -salt foods, and in pre-school age to reject new foods (food neophobia). While genetically determined individual differences exist, repeated offering of foods can modify innate preferences. Conclusions. Starting in the prenatal period, a varied exposure through amniotic fluid and repeated experiences with novel flavors during breastfeeding and complementary feeding increase children’s willingness to try new foods within a positive social environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: early taste; food preferences; breastfeeding; complementary feeding; feeding strategy; children obesity; food choices early taste; food preferences; breastfeeding; complementary feeding; feeding strategy; children obesity; food choices
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De Cosmi, V.; Scaglioni, S.; Agostoni, C. Early Taste Experiences and Later Food Choices. Nutrients 2017, 9, 107.

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