Developing Healthy Food Preferences in Preschool Children Through Taste Exposure, Sensory Learning, and Nutrition Education.
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW
The present review was undertaken in order to summarize and evaluate recent research investigating taste exposure, sensory learning, and nutrition education interventions for promoting vegetable intake in preschool children.
Overall, taste exposure interventions yielded the best outcomes for increasing vegetable intake in early childhood. Evidence from sensory learning strategies such as visual exposure and experiential learning also show some success. While nutrition education remains the most common approach used in preschool settings, additional elements are needed to strengthen the educational program for increasing vegetable intake. There is a substantial gap in the evidence base to promote vegetable intake in food fussy children. The present review reveals the relative importance of different intervention strategies for promoting vegetable intake. To strengthen intervention effects for improving vegetable intake in preschool children, future research could consider integrating taste exposure and sensory learning strategies with nutrition education within the preschool curriculum.