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Let’s look at leeks! Picture books increase toddlers’ willingness to look at, taste and consume unfamiliar vegetables

Heath, P., Houston-Price, C. and Kennedy, O. B. (2014) Let’s look at leeks! Picture books increase toddlers’ willingness to look at, taste and consume unfamiliar vegetables. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 (191). pp. 1-11. ISSN 1664-1078

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00191

Abstract/Summary

Repeatedly looking at picture books about fruits and vegetables with parents enhances young children’s visual preferences towards the foods in the book (Houston-Price et al, 2009) and influences their willingness to taste these foods (Houston-Price, Butler & Shiba, 2009). This article explores whether the effects of picture book exposure are affected by infants' initial familiarity with and liking for the foods presented. In two experiments parents of 19- to 26-month-old toddlers were asked to read a picture book about a liked, disliked or unfamiliar fruit or vegetable with their child every day for two weeks. The impact of the intervention on both infants’ visual preferences and their eating behaviour was determined by the initial status of the target food, with the strongest effects for foods that were initially unfamiliar. Most strikingly, toddlers consumed more of the unfamiliar vegetable they had seen in their picture book than of a matched control vegetable. Results confirm the potential for picture books to play a positive role in encouraging healthy eating in your children.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
University of Reading Malaysia
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Nutrition and Health
ID Code:37151
Uncontrolled Keywords:Exposure, picture books, fruit and vegetables, visual preference, willingness to taste, consumption
Publisher:Frontiers Media

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