The relationship between number of fruits, vegetables, and noncore foods tried at age 14 months and food preferences, dietary intake patterns, fussy eating behavior, and weight status at age 3.7 years

Mallan, Kimberley M., Fildes, Alison, Magarey, Anthea, & Daniels, Lynne (2016) The relationship between number of fruits, vegetables, and noncore foods tried at age 14 months and food preferences, dietary intake patterns, fussy eating behavior, and weight status at age 3.7 years. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(4), pp. 630-637.

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Abstract

Objective

We examined whether exposure to a greater number of fruits, vegetables, and noncore foods (ie, nutrient poor and high in saturated fats, added sugars, or added salt) at age 14 months was related to children’s preference for and intake of these foods as well as maternal-reported food fussiness and measured child weight status at age 3.7 years.

Methods

This study reports secondary analyses of longitudinal data from mothers and children (n=340) participating in the NOURISH randomized controlled trial. Exposure was quantified as the number of food items (n=55) tried by a child from specified lists at age 14 months. At age 3.7 years, food preferences, intake patterns, and fussiness (also at age 14 months) were assessed using maternal-completed, established questionnaires. Child weight and length/height were measured by study staff at both age points. Multivariable linear regression models were tested to predict food preferences, intake patterns, fussy eating, and body mass index z score at age 3.7 years adjusting for a range of maternal and child covariates.

Results

Having tried a greater number of vegetables, fruits, and noncore foods at age 14 months predicted corresponding preferences and higher intakes at age 3.7 years but did not predict child body mass index z score. Adjusting for fussiness at age 14 months, having tried more vegetables at age 14 months was associated with lower fussiness at age 3.7 years.

Conclusions

These prospective analyses support the hypothesis that early taste and texture experiences influence subsequent food preferences and acceptance. These findings indicate introduction to a variety of fruits and vegetables and limited noncore food exposure from an early age are important strategies to improve later diet quality.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 87265
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Food preferences, Dietary intake patterns, Child weight, Early exposure
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.06.006
ISSN: 2212-2672
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Deposited On: 04 Sep 2015 00:12
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 11:30

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