Research project looks at childrens’ eating habits

Kids and vegetable research participants. Wiki Commons licence: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.Kids and vegetable research participants. Wiki Commons licence: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

A PhD student at the University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus is undergoing a research project to answer the age old questions parents everywhere ask themselves every dinner time, how to get their kids to eat their vegetables.

The project, entitled, Determining Taste Preferences of Young Children (2-5 years old) by Investigating Dietary Habits, is being conducted by Eileen Chijoff under the supervision of Doctors, Mark Lucock, Emma Beckett and Tracy Schumacher, of the University of Newcastle.

According to Chijoff, the purpose of the project is to determine which fruits and vegetables pre-school aged children enjoy, which ones they don’t, and to monitor how these tastes develop as they age. “There are two aims associated with this research.

“The first aim is to increase understanding of the taste preferences of pre-school aged children by identifying, and categorising, the types of fruits and vegetables they consume the most, and the ones they tend to avoid.

“This information will be used to determine if there are similarities in the taste profiles of fruits and vegetables that are categorised together. “The second aim of the project is to identify if there are changes in taste preferences during the pre-school stage of childhood.

“To achieve these aims, we would like to collect dietary information on the fruit and vegetable intake of pre-school aged children by conducting online surveys,” Chijoff said.

The study is open to all Central Coast families with children aged between 2 to 5 years old.

Source: Media release, Oct 26 UON Media