The influence of preparation method on children's liking for vegetables

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This study aimed to investigate how different preparation methods influence children’s liking for vegetables. Participants were children from three age groups (4–6 years N = 46; 7–8 years N = 25; 11–12 years N = 23) and young adults (18–25 years N = 22). The participants tasted and ranked six preparation methods for carrots and French beans: mashed, steamed, boiled, stir-fried, grilled and deep-fried. In addition, the different vegetable preparations were rated on 15 attributes. All participants preferred boiled and steamed vegetables over the other preparations (p <0.05). Boiled and stir-fried were the most familiar preparation methods for both vegetables. Vegetable liking was positively related to a uniform surface and the typical vegetable taste, and moderately related to crunchiness, whereas brown colouring and a granular texture were negatively related to vegetable liking. On the basis of these results, we conclude that children’s vegetable liking is influenced by a complex mixture of a uniform appearance, easily controllable textures and a typical, familiar vegetable taste
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-914
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • food preferences
  • fruit
  • acceptability
  • consumption
  • perception
  • neophobia
  • childhood
  • exposure
  • texture
  • gender

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