• Acceptance of a Test Vegetable after Repeated Exposures among Preschoolers

    Mal J Nutr 18(1): 67-75, 2012

    Acceptance of a Test Vegetable after Repeated Exposures among Preschoolers 
    Noradilah MJ1 & Zahara AM2

    1 Nutrition Programme, 2 Dietetics Programme, Health Care Sciences Study Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    ABSTRACT

    Introduction: Low vegetable consumption in children is always a matter of concern. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of multiple exposures on acceptance of a test vegetable among preschoolers aged 6 years. Methods: This study was conducted in two phases. The first phase was a cross-sectional study among 68 Malay children (37 boys; 31 girls) from 6 kindergartens in Muar, Johor. This phase was aimed at determining the selection of the most suitable vegetable as the test vegetable. Data on demographics, usual preparation methods of vegetables, frequency of vegetables served and consumed by the children at home and parents� perception of the children�s liking towards vegetables were obtained through the questionnaire. In phase 2, 42 preschoolers (20 boys; 22 girls) from 3 kindergartens from phase 1 were randomly selected. Meals consisting of the test vegetable,that is, round cabbage were provided to the children during lunch time at the kindergartens for 3 days consecutively. Thirty-six grams of stir-fried cabbage was served each time and the leftover was weighed. Results: There was a significant increase in intake of the test vegetable from first day (21.58�9.55 g) to the third day of exposure (28.26�8.35 g), z = -3.317, p=0.002. Based on feedback from the parents, the level of liking towards the test vegetable was significantly increased after the intervention (p=0.038). Conclusion: It is suggested that multiple exposures to vegetables could be a strategy to increase consumption of vegetables among preschoolers.

    Keywords: Intervention, multiple exposure, preference, preschoolers, vegetables

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