11- to 13-Year-Old Children's Rejection and Acceptance of Unfamiliar Food: The Role of Food Play and Animalness

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


Promoting children's healthy food behavior is important in reducing the risk of developing obesity; it is therefore relevant to investigate methods to promote healthy food choices. This study's aim was to investigate differences in rejection-acceptance mechanisms related to unfamiliar foods depending on the inclusion of tactile exercises prior to cooking and food origin. Participant observation was applied in a school setting. Eight fifth and sixth grade classes were recruited from four Danish schools (n = 129). The classes were divided into two groups: animal (AG; quail) and nonanimal (NAG; bladderwrack). AG and NAG were subdivided into two groups: food print (FP) and no food print (NFP). Applied thematic analysis was applied. During preparation/cooking, NFP displayed disgust-related rejection, whereas FP displayed inappropriateness-related rejection. FP exhibited more playful behavior. Inappropriateness and animalness drove AG rejection. NAG rejection was driven by the slimy texture of the food and the perception of it 'not being food'. Acceptance was driven by taste and familiarity. In conclusion, the inclusion of tactile exercises could increase children's exploratory food behavior, and the promotion of children's healthy food behavior should not solely focus on choosing foods deemed safe and familiar, since, despite rejection during cooking, acceptance is ultimately possible.
Udgave nummer6
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 8 mar. 2023


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