Taste preference, food neophobia and nutritional intake in children consuming a cows’ milk exclusion diet: a prospective study

K. Maslin, K. Grimshaw, E. Oliver, G. Roberts, S. H. Arshad, T. Dean, J. Grundy, G. Glasbey, C. Venter

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Abstract

Background Taste exposure in infancy is known to predict food preferences later in childhood. This is particularly relevant in children with cows’ milk allergy who consume a substitute formula and/or a cows’ milk exclusion (CME) diet early in life. This prospective study aimed to show whether there is a long-term effect of consuming a substitute formula and CME diet on taste preferences and dietary intake.
Methods Children were predominantly recruited from two large birth cohort studies in the UK. Two groups were recruited: an experimental group of children who had consumed a CME diet during infancy and a control group who had consumed an unrestricted diet during infancy. Parents completed a food neophobia questionnaire and an estimated prospective food diary. Children completed a taste preference test and their growth was assessed.
Results One hundred and one children with a mean age of 11.5 years were recruited (28 CME and 73 controls). Children in the CME group had a significantly higher preference for bitter taste than those in the control group (P < 0.05). There were significant differences between the groups with respect to the intake of some micronutrients, including riboflavin, iodine, sodium and selenium. Food neophobia did not differ between groups. Some 28% of the CME group were overweight/obese compared to 15% of the control group; however, this difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusions Consuming a substitute formula and/or a CME diet in infancy has a long-term effect on the preference for bitter taste. Differences exist with respect to the intake of some micronutrients, but not macronutrients. There was a nonsignificant trend towards being overweight and obese in children in the CME group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-796
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics
Volume29
Issue number6
Early online date14 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • taste preference
  • cows’ milk allergy
  • dietary intake
  • food neophobia

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