Taste education reduces food neophobia and increases willingness to try novel foods in school children

  • Park, Bo-Kyung (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Cho, Mi-Sook (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University)
  • Received : 2015.04.24
  • Accepted : 2015.10.01
  • Published : 2016.04.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: This study measured the effects of a taste education program developed in Korea on food neophobia and willingness to try novel foods in school children. SUBJECTS/METHODS: One-hundred and twenty school children (aged 7-9 years) residing in Seoul participated in 12 sessions of a taste education program for 3 months. The Korean taste education program was adapted from "Les classes du gout" by J. Puisais and modified to suit a Korean education environment. The study subjected school children to pre- and post-programs on food neophobia and willingness to try novel foods (WTNF), in addition to children's food neophobia in their parents. A total of 101 survey data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0. RESULTS: Regarding the effects of taste education, scores of food neophobia significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in the posttest, mean (m) score ($4.10{\pm}1.19$) decreased compared to the pretest ($4.39{\pm}1.00$), and WTNF significantly increased (P < 0.001) in the pretest (m) score ($0.48{\pm}0.33$) compared to the pretest ($0.32{\pm}0.34$). This result indicates verification of the study hypothesis. CONCLUSIONS: Food neophobia scale (FNS), an index that measures personal food preference [1,2], showed a very weak correlation with behavioral willingness to taste novel foods (WTNF). Therefore, it is expected that the two scales measure different things. However, considering that the traits of food neophobia are not easily changed, the taste education program was administered in a remarkably effective manner.


  1. Raudenbush B, Schroth F, Reilley S, Frank RA. Food neophobia, odor evaluation and exploratory sniffing behavior. Appetite 1998;31:171-83.
  2. Pliner P. Development of measures of food neophobia in children. Appetite 1994;23:147-63.
  3. Rozin P, Vollmecke TA. Food likes and dislikes. Annu Rev Nutr 1986;6:433-56.
  4. Pliner P, Salvy SJ. Food neophobia in humans. In: Shepherd R, Raats M, editors. The Psychology of Food Choice. Wallingford: CABI; 2006. p.75-92.
  5. Carruth BR, Skinner J, Houck K, Moran J 3rd, Coletta F, Ott D. The phenomenon of "picky eater": a behavioral marker in eating patterns of toddlers. 1998;17:180-6.
  6. Cashdan E. A sensitive period for learning about food. Hum Nat 1994;5:279-91.
  7. Koivisto UK, Sjoden PO. Food and general neophobia in Swedish families: parent-child comparisons and relationships with serving specific foods. Appetite 1996;26:107-18.
  8. Nicklaus S, Boggio V, Chabanet C, Issanchou S. A prospective study of food variety seeking in childhood, adolescence and early adult life. Appetite 2005;44:289-97.
  9. Birch LL, McPhee L, Shoba BC, Pirok E, Steinberg L. What kind of exposure reduces children's food neophobia? Looking vs. tasting. Appetite 1987;9:171-8.
  10. Puisais J, Pierre C. Classes du Gout. Paris: Flammarion; 1987.
  11. Reverdy C, Chesnel F, Schlich P, Koster EP, Lange C. Effect of sensory education on willingness to taste novel food in children. Appetite 2008;51:156-65.
  12. Mustonen S, Rantanen R, Tuorila H. Effect of sensory education on school children's food perception: a 2-year follow-up study. Food Qual Prefer 2009;20:230-40.
  13. Mustonen S, Tuorila H. Sensory education decreases food neophobia score and encourages trying unfamiliar foods in 8-12-year-old children. Food Qual Prefer 2010;21:353-60.
  14. Russell CG, Worsley A. A population-based study of preschoolers' food neophobia and its associations with food preferences. J Nutr Educ Behav 2008;40:11-9.
  15. Shon C, Park Y, Ryou H, Na W, Choi K. The development of a taste education program for preschoolers and evaluation of a program by parents and childcare personnel. Nutr Res Pract 2012;6:466-73.
  16. Pliner P, Hobden K. Development of a scale to measure the trait of food neophobia in humans. Appetite 1992;19:105-20.
  17. Stein LJ, Nagai H, Nakagawa M, Beauchamp GK. Effects of repeated exposure and health-related information on hedonic evaluation and acceptance of a bitter beverage. Appetite 2003;40:119-29.
  18. Pelchat ML, Pliner P. "Try it. You'll like it". Effects of information on willingness to try novel foods. Appetite 1995;24:153-65.
  19. Fishbein M, Ajzen I. Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior: an Introduction to Theory and Research. Reading (MA): Addison-Wesley; 1975.

Cited by

  1. No long-term effect of a 2-days intervention on how to prepare homemade food, on toddlers’ skepticism for new food and intake of fruits and vegetables and sweet beverages: a randomized, controlled trial vol.10, pp.1, 2017,
  2. A Polish Study on the Influence of Food Neophobia in Children (10–12 Years Old) on the Intake of Vegetables and Fruits vol.9, pp.6, 2017,
  3. Education of the postprandial experience by a sensory-cognitive intervention pp.13501925, 2017,
  4. Developing Healthy Food Preferences in Preschool Children Through Taste Exposure, Sensory Learning, and Nutrition Education vol.7, pp.1, 2018,
  5. The Role of Complementary Feeding Methods on Early Eating Behaviors and Food Neophobia in Toddlers pp.1476-489X, 2018,
  6. Sensory-based food education in early childhood education and care, willingness to choose and eat fruit and vegetables, and the moderating role of maternal education and food neophobia vol.21, pp.13, 2018,
  7. Influence of Food Neophobia Level on Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Its Association with Urban Area of Residence and Physical Activity in a Nationwide Case-Control Study of Polish Adolescents vol.10, pp.7, 2018,
  8. A cluster randomized web-based intervention trial to reduce food neophobia and promote healthy diets among one-year-old children in kindergarten: study protocol vol.18, pp.1, 2018,