Development of measures of food neophobia in children.

Research paper by P P Pliner

Indexed on: 01 Oct '94Published on: 01 Oct '94Published in: Appetite


In order to construct a behavioral neophobia measure for children, we had 5-, 8- and 11-year-olds choose from ten novel and ten familiar foods which ones they were willing to taste. Meanwhile, their parents indicated their own willingness to taste each of the foods, predicted the children's willingness, estimated the number of times they and their children had eaten the foods, and completed trait measures of food neophobia for themselves and the children. The children's levels of behavioral neophobia were significantly related to both their levels of trait neophobia and their parents' predictions of their willingness to eat the foods (r = 0.38 and 0.34, respectively; p < 0.001). In addition, children's and parents' behavioral and trait neophobia scores were significantly related (both r = 0.31; p < 0.001). Finally, parents but not children were more neophobic with respect to foods of animal (vs. vegetable) origin.