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Open AccessArticle

Children’s Self-Reported Reasons for Accepting and Rejecting Foods

by Julia Sick 1,2,†, Rikke Højer 2,3 and Annemarie Olsen 2,*
1
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, Via Donizetti 6, 50144 Florence, Italy
2
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science, Section for Design and Consumer Behaviour, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
3
University College Absalon, Center for Nutrition & Rehabilitation, Nutrition & Health, Slagelsevej 72, 4180 Sorø, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This work was part of Julia Sick’s master’s thesis.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102455
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 26 September 2019 / Accepted: 3 October 2019 / Published: 14 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Children’s eating behavior does not necessarily align with dietary recommendations, and there is a need for better understanding the factors underlying their food choices. The aim of this study was to investigate children’s self-reported reasons for accepting and rejecting foods. A questionnaire was developed with reasons based on prior research and in-depth interviews. A set of various food stimuli covering different types was evaluated by 106 girls and 99 boys aged 10–13 years by checking all reasons that apply (CATA) for either accepting or rejecting them. Results showed gender differences among reasons for both food acceptance and rejection, but also in liking and willingness to re-taste the stimuli. The most common reason for food acceptance was good taste in boys and curiosity in girls; for food rejection they were bad taste, bad smell and dislike of appearance in boys and bad taste, bad smell, dislike of appearance and texture in girls. Overall, boys liked the food stimuli more than girls and were more willing to re-taste them. Future research should focus more on the role of sensory properties in both acceptance and rejection, and the potential of children’s curiosity as a driver in tasting foods should be further explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: food choice; acceptance; rejection; children; eating behavior; food; CATA food choice; acceptance; rejection; children; eating behavior; food; CATA
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Sick, J.; Højer, R.; Olsen, A. Children’s Self-Reported Reasons for Accepting and Rejecting Foods. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2455.

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