The common picky and fussy eating in early childhood indicates a decreased preference for food. This study examined which sensory food feature influences food acceptance in young children (32-48 months). The authors also assessed whether the behavioral measurement of food acceptance is related to parental reports of their child’s fussy eating behavior, parental feeding styles and children’s BMI. Color, texture and taste of well-liked yogurt were manipulated in the experiment. The number of spoons that children consumed from each yogurt variant were registered and counted as a behavioral indication for food acceptance.
Yogurt taste and color had no impact
Manipulating food texture caused a significant decrease in yogurt intake. Color and taste manipulations did not influence children’s intake. Parental reports on children’s fussy eating behavior and parental feeding styles were not associated with behavioral observation of food acceptance. The behavioral measurement of food acceptance and parental accounts of fussy eating were not related to children’s BMI. This knowledge is important for further research on picky-eating interventions.