Title

“I Like it, but I Don’t Eat it”: Children’s Preference of Refined Vs. Whole Grains

Date

5-2013

Advisor

Sibylle Kranz

Department

Foods and Nutrition

Major

Dietetics/Nutrition Fitness Health Dual Degree

Keywords

whole grains, refined grains, liking, food preference, young children

Abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional feasibility study was to better understand a preschooler’s preference and liking of refined compared to whole grain products and some of the factors that contribute to these relationships. Children between the ages of 2-5 years old were exposed to three different categories of grain-based foods: breads, crackers, and pastas. Within each category were three subcategories that included pairs of foods with each pair consisting of a whole grain and a refined grain equivalent. Children were asked to try the foods and rate their liking of it using a three-point Likert scale. Analyses of the results were based on the comparison of two means. This test revealed that children rated their overall liking of both the refined and the whole grain food items the same. When asked for their preference of which type of grain they would chose to eat, children more frequently chose the refined grain food item. Therefore our results indicate that if children were only presented with whole grains, then they would eat whole grains just as often as refined grains.

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