Food neophobia and its association with intake of fish and other selected foods in a Norwegian sample of toddlers: A cross-sectional study.
Sommaire de l'article
Reluctance to try novel foods (food neophobia) prevents toddlers from accepting healthy foods such as fish and vegetables, which are important for child development and health. Eating habits established between ages 2 and 3 years normally track into adulthood and are therefore highly influential; even so, there are few studies addressing food neophobia in this age group. This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between the level of food neophobia and the frequency of toddlers' intake of fish, meat, berries, fruit, vegetables, and sweet and salty snacks. Parents of 505 toddlers completed a questionnaire assessing the degree of food neophobia in their toddlers (mean age 28 months, SD ± 3.5), and frequency of intake of various foods. Food neophobia was rated by the Children's Food Neophobia Scale (CFNS, score range 6-42). Associations between CFNS score and food frequency were examined using hierarchical multiple regression models, adjusting for significant covariates. Toddlers with higher CFNS scores had less frequent intake of vegetables (β = -0.28, p < 0.001), berries (β = -0.17, p = 0.002), fruits (β = -0.16, p < 0.001), and fish (β = -0.15, p = 0.001). No significant associations were found for CFNS score and frequency of toddlers' intakes of meat or of sweet and fatty snacks. These findings suggest that food neophobia in toddlers is associated with lower diet quality, and indicate a need for intervention studies to address the food neophobia.