Impact of Vegetable Preparation Method and Taste-Test on Vegetable Preference for First Grade Children in the United States
Pages 316-325
Marie Veronyck Colas, Joan A. Vaccaro, Gustavo G. Zarini and Fatma G. Huffman

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6000/1929-4247.2013.02.04.5

Published: 25 November 2013

Open Access 

Abstract: How children rate vegetables may be influenced by the preparation method. The primary objective of this study was for first grade students to be involved in a cooking demonstration and to taste and rate vegetables raw and cooked. First grade children of two classes (N= 52: 18 boys and 34 girls (approximately half Hispanic) that had assented and had signed parental consent participated in the study. The degree of liking a particular vegetable was recorded by the students using a hedonic scale of five commonly eaten vegetables tasted first raw (pre-demonstration) and then cooked (post-demonstration). A food habit questionnaire was filled out by parents to evaluate their mealtime practices and beliefs about their child’s eating habits.Paired sample t-tests revealed significant differences in preferences for vegetables in their raw and cooked states. Several mealtime characteristics were significantly associated with children’s vegetable preferences. Parents who reported being satisfied with how often the family eats evening meals together were more likely to report that their child eats adequate vegetables for their health (p=0.026). Parents who stated that they were satisfied with their child’s eating habits were more likely to report that their child was trying new foods (p<.001). Cooking demonstrations by nutrition professionals may be an important strategy that can be used by parents and teachers to promote vegetable intake. It is important that nutrition professionals provide guidance to encourage consumption of vegetables for parents so that they can model the behavior of healthy food consumption to their children.

Keywords: Children, elementary school, vegetable consumption, hedonic scale vegetables, cooking demonstration, mealtime behaviors, tasting.
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