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Nutrients. 2017 Feb 4;9(2). pii: E107. doi: 10.3390/nu9020107.

Early Taste Experiences and Later Food Choices.

Author information

1
Valentina De Cosmi Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Branch of Medical Statistics, Biometry, and Epidemiology "G. A. Maccacaro", Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. valentina.decosmi@gmail.com.
2
Silvia Scaglioni Fondazione De Marchi Department of Pediatrics, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy. silviascaglioni50@gmail.com.
3
Carlo Agostoni Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. carlo.agostoni@unimi.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nutrition in early life is increasingly considered to be an important factor influencing later health. Food preferences are formed in infancy, are tracked into childhood and beyond, and complementary feeding practices are crucial to prevent obesity later in life.

METHODS:

Through a literature search strategy, we have investigated the role of breastfeeding, of complementary feeding, and the parental and sociocultural factors which contribute to set food preferences early in life.

RESULTS:

Children are predisposed to prefer high-energy, -sugar, and -salt foods, and in pre-school age to reject new foods (food neophobia). While genetically determined individual differences exist, repeated offering of foods can modify innate preferences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Starting in the prenatal period, a varied exposure through amniotic fluid and repeated experiences with novel flavors during breastfeeding and complementary feeding increase children's willingness to try new foods within a positive social environment.

KEYWORDS:

breastfeeding; children obesity; complementary feeding; early taste; feeding strategy; food choices; food preferences

PMID:
28165384
PMCID:
PMC5331538
DOI:
10.3390/nu9020107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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