Childhood is an especially important time to promote the acceptance of healthier foods given the oversaturation of unhealthy modern food environments, poor diet quality in young children, and the high prevalence of nutrition-related diseases in many nations. This issue brief is based on a narrative review, published in Obesity Reviews, on how children learn food preferences during the prenatal period, infancy, and early childhood (ages 2-5). The evidence suggests that children can learn preferences for foods before birth, and that food preferences are further influenced by tastes in breast milk and formula. Infants continue to learn to accept new tastes when they are introduced to other foods. Repeatedly offering a variety of healthy foods during infancy and throughout early childhood can have lasting effects on a child’s acceptance and consumption of healthy foods. The evidence from this brief can be used to help caregivers and practitioners promote the development of healthy food preferences early in life, as well as to inform the development of policies to support implementation of these practices in a variety of settings where young children spend time.
Published: December 2017
ID #: 1099
Publisher: Healthy Eating Research
Authors: Anzman-Frasca S, Ventura AK, Ehrenberg S, Myers KP
Promoting Healthy Food Preferences From the Start: A Narrative Review of Food Preference Learning From the Prenatal Period Through Early ChildhoodChildhood is an especially important time to promote the acceptance of healthier foods given the oversaturation of unhealthy modern food environments, poor diet quality in young children, and the high prevalence of nutrition-related diseases in many nations. This review relies on a search of the literature from 2007 to 2016 on how children learn food More
State Agency Perspectives on Successes and Challenges of Administering the Child and Adult Care Food ProgramThe federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) improves nutrition and reduces food insecurity for young children while helping cover food costs for care providers and families. Despite its important benefits, the program is underutilized. This report uses qualitative interviews with state CACFP administrators representing 28 states to explore federal and state policies and practices that support or discourage CACFP participation among licensed child More