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Article

Taste Ratings of Healthier Main and Side Dishes among 4-to-8-Year-Old Children in a Quick-Service Restaurant Chain

1
Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
2
Independent Health Foundation, Buffalo, NY 14221, USA
3
Center for Ingestive Behavior Research, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
4
Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alison Tovar
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020673
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 10 February 2021 / Accepted: 11 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating-Behavior in Children and Adolescents)
Restaurants are regular eating environments for many families. Children’s consumption of restaurant foods has been linked with poorer diet quality, prompting emerging research examining strategies to encourage healthier eating among children in restaurants. Although taste is a primary determinant of restaurant meal choices, there is a lack of research considering children’s perspectives on the taste of different healthier kids’ meal options. The current study sought to examine, via objective taste testing, children’s liking of and preference for healthier kids’ meal options at a quick-service restaurant (QSR) and to describe bundled kids’ meals with evidence of both taste acceptability and consistency with nutrition guidelines. Thirty-seven 4-to-8-year-old children completed taste tests of ten healthier main and side dish options. Liking and preference were assessed using standard methods after children tasted each food. Children also reported their ideal kids’ meal. Results show the majority of children liked and preferred three main (turkey sandwich, chicken strips, peanut butter/banana sandwich) and side dishes (yogurt, applesauce, broccoli), with rank order differing slightly by age group. Accepted foods were combined into 11 bundles meeting nutritional criteria. Results highlight healthier kids’ meals with evidence of appeal among children in a QSR. Findings can inform future research and may increase the success of healthy eating interventions in these settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: restaurants; children; food preferences; diet quality restaurants; children; food preferences; diet quality
MDPI and ACS Style

Tauriello, S.; McGovern, L.; Bartholomew, B.; Epstein, L.H.; Leone, L.A.; Goldsmith, J.; Kubiniec, E.; Anzman-Frasca, S. Taste Ratings of Healthier Main and Side Dishes among 4-to-8-Year-Old Children in a Quick-Service Restaurant Chain. Nutrients 2021, 13, 673. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020673

AMA Style

Tauriello S, McGovern L, Bartholomew B, Epstein LH, Leone LA, Goldsmith J, Kubiniec E, Anzman-Frasca S. Taste Ratings of Healthier Main and Side Dishes among 4-to-8-Year-Old Children in a Quick-Service Restaurant Chain. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):673. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020673

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tauriello, Sara; McGovern, Lily; Bartholomew, Brianna; Epstein, Leonard H.; Leone, Lucia A.; Goldsmith, Juliana; Kubiniec, Elizabeth; Anzman-Frasca, Stephanie. 2021. "Taste Ratings of Healthier Main and Side Dishes among 4-to-8-Year-Old Children in a Quick-Service Restaurant Chain" Nutrients 13, no. 2: 673. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020673

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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