Ottobre 2010 - Volume XXIX - numero 8
1European Laboratory for Food Induced Diseases (ELFID), Università Federico II, Napoli
2Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, Pollenzo (Cuneo)
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Key words: Taste education, Dietary habits, Vegetables acceptance, Weaning, Breast feeding
Children’s food preferences are strongly correlated with their eating behaviours; therefore, identifying the factors that can make them accept healthy food, like vegetables, which they do not usually like because of their bitter taste, is of crucial importance. Now, it is known that eating behaviours have a genetic component, but humans are not hardwired to them. The early exposure (already during pregnancy, then during breast feeding and weaning) to a wide range of tastes has been identified as the way to educate children’s taste, thus promoting their acceptance of fruit and vegetables, food not eaten enough in the paediatric population. Moreover, it is proven that early eating behaviours are maintained in adults, underlining the importance to invest on children taste education to improve the quality of life of future adults.
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