This study was conducted to examine whether disliked foods can act as contaminants to liked foods during infancy. Participants (aged 18-26 months, N=18) were offered a liked food that was touching a disliked food, on the same plate. Their response to this liked food was compared to the infants' response to a control condition; a liked food touching a second liked food. The data show that children were less likely to eat a liked food touching a disliked food, than a like-like control. Of the 18 infants tested, eight children either wanted the disliked food completely removed from the plate, or would not consume the liked food at all (N=2) once it was 'contaminated' by the disliked food. This study was the first to test the anecdotal reports that disliked foods can act as contaminants during infancy and the data offer some support for the hypothesis that disgust may influence the acceptance of food during early childhood.
- infant/child eating behaviours
- Food neophobia