Involving children in the different steps of meal preparation has been suggested as a strategy for enhancing dietary habits in childhood. It has previously been shown that involving children in cooking can increase their willingness to taste novel foods and direct their food choices towards foods containing vegetables. The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of involving children in food purchasing on food choices, intake, liking and appetite. A between-subject experiment was conducted with 86 children (from 8 to 10 years old). Forty-three children (PURCHASE group) participated in a workshop dedicated to purchasing the necessary ingredients online for the preparation of three unfamiliar foods containing vegetables: apple and beetroot juice, zucchini tortilla sandwich and spinach cookies. Forty-three children (CONTROL group) participated instead in a creativity workshop. Afterwards, all the children were invited to choose, for an afternoon snack, between three familiar vs. unfamiliar foods: orange vs. apple and beetroot juice, potatoes vs. zucchini tortilla sandwich and chocolate vs. spinach cookie. The mean number of unfamiliar foods chosen per child was higher in the PURCHASE (0.70 ± 0.14) vs. CONTROL (0.19 ± 0.07) group (P = 0.003). The liking for 1 of the 3 unfamiliar foods was higher in the PURCHASE group (P < 0.05). We did not find any difference between the two groups in food intake estimation and in the levels of subjective appetite. This study demonstrates that involving children in purchasing food can help in directing their food choices towards unfamiliar foods containing vegetables. It highlights the importance of involving children in the different steps of meal preparation for decreasing food neophobia.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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