A matter of good taste


Are we born with our food taste preferences, do they develop over time or are they learnt behaviours from our parents and carers?

A study conducted by Aston University suggests there may be fewer genuinely fussy eaters out there than parents might imagine! The researchers concluded that children fall into one of four eating categories: fussy, avid, happy or typical. Only 16 per cent were classified by the researchers as ‘fussy eaters’ and these children showed notably elevated levels of food fussiness, slow eating and reduced levels of food enjoyment.

Meal box service HelloFresh also investigated the potential influence of food preferences passed down from parents and guardians. Their research found that most Brits (64 per cent) share a dislike of certain foods with their parents which indicates that parents have a substantial influence on their children's food preferences. Among shared dislikes, anchovies rank highest, with 21 per cent of both children and parents disliking them, followed by sushi, celery and Brussels sprouts.

HelloFresh’s recipe development manager Mimi Morley has some quick and easy tips for introducing new tastes to kids:

Stealth Health – Sneak healthy elements into familiar favourites ­– blend veggies into sauces, bake sweet potatoes in brownies or switch to whole grains. Add nutrition without it being obvious.

Weekly Taste Explorations – Encourage curiosity with bite-sized explorations. Try a 'weekly taste adventure' alongside regular meals to reduce pressure and build a positive attitude towards new flavours.

Food Explorer Journals – Create a journal where children can record their thoughts and rate each time they try a new food, creating a personalised adventure log for a food exploration journey.

Visit www.hellofresh.co.uk