Children eat more food when they prepare it themselves

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jasmine M. DeJesus, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Encouraging children to participate in food preparation is recommended by pediatric guidelines and has been included in public health interventions. However, little is known about whether the act of preparing a food specifically increases children's intake of that food, nor is it known whether this effect might differ for healthy and familiar unhealthy foods. The present study examines whether 5- to 7-year-old children eat more of a food they prepared themselves compared to the same food prepared by someone else. Children participated in a laboratory study in which they prepared either a salad or a dessert and then had the opportunity to eat the food they prepared and/or a nearly identical food prepared by someone else. We found that children ate more of a food they prepared themselves, but no significant difference was observed in children's ratings of each food. In addition to eating more healthy foods they prepared themselves, children ate more unhealthy foods they prepared themselves, including familiar and well-liked desserts. More specific recommendations are needed if the goal of involving children in food preparation is to promote health.

Additional Information

Appetite, 133, 305-312. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.11.006
Language: English
Date: 2019
Social cognition, Food preparation, Eating behavior, Obesity

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