Date of Award

8-2019

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Food Science and Nutrition

Department

Food Science and Nutrition

College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Amy Lammert

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences

Abstract

Although vegetables provide many beneficial nutrients and have been shown to help reduce the risk of dietary related chronic diseases, children in the United States are not meeting the national recommendations of vegetable servings. The overall goal of this research was to study the relationship between children’s vegetable acceptance and the following children’s characteristics: food neophobia (FN), vegetable neophobia (VN), picky eating (PE), 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) sensitivity, Mouth Behavior (MB). The specific objectives were to: (1) develop a novel method for evaluating children’s MB, (2) assess the FN, VN, PE, PROP sensitivity, and MB levels in children in San Luis Obispo County, (3) examine the relationship between FN, VN, PE, PROP sensitivity, and MB, (4) determine exposure and willingness to try familiar and unfamiliar vegetables of the two levels of each of the children’s characteristics, (5) to determine acceptability of familiar and unfamiliar vegetables of each level of each of the children’s characteristics, and (6) determine if the preference between two levels of each children’s characteristic differed.

Children’s acceptability of familiar and unfamiliar vegetables was conducted with 43 child and parent pairs. Parents completed five questionnaires: demographics, the Child Food Neophobic Scale, the Fruit and Vegetable Neophobia Instrument (vegetable subscale), the Child-Feeding Questionnaire (pickiness subscale), and the JBMB® typing tool. Children participated in consumer acceptance testing of red carrots (stick, sliver, and puree) and broccoli (floret, sliver, and puree). Sensory attributes were measured using a 5-point facial hedonic scale. The children’s PROP sensitivity was determined by having the children place a control taste strip on their tongue for approximately ten seconds and report what they tasted. This procedure was repeated with a PROP taste strip. The children’s MB was determined through a guided discussion about their eating behaviors and food preferences with their parents.

Of the children in the study, there were 46.51% FN, 32.56% PE, 34.8% PROP sensitive, 44.19% VN, 60.47% chewers, 27.91% crunchers, 6.98% smooshers, and 4.65% suckers. From likelihood ratio chi-square analysis, the following characteristics were related: FN and VN (p

This study indicates there are possible trends between FN, PE, MB, and vegetable acceptance. Another trend that appeared was that the sensory attributes of the non-bitter, unfamiliar red carrots were often rated higher than the sensory attributes of the bitter, familiar broccoli. It may be possible to determine child’s MB through discussions with the child and their parent. In conclusion, knowledge of a children’s MB and understanding how their eating behaviors are associated with the acceptability of familiar and unfamiliar vegetables served in different product forms may be able to help increase children’s vegetable consumption.

Available for download on Sunday, August 21, 2022

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