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Teenagers fussier eaters than toddlers says HelloFresh

Posted: 26 May 2021 | | No comments yet

The research suggests some parents do not introduce new foods into their children’s diets often enough and nearly half of respondents said half of their shopping basket goes unchanged.

teenagers are fussier than toddlers according to research

Teenagers are fussier eaters than toddlers claims HelloFresh research

UK teenagers are fussier with their food than toddlers, a recent survey by HelloFresh has found.

The meal box delivery company asked 1,013 respondents for their insights on everything from the foods that triggered the most mealtime tantrums, to discovering the go-to tactics for challenging picky eaters.

Surprisingly, the results showed that children aged between one and four years old were the most adventurous eaters, followed closely by those between five and nine years old. Pre-teens and teenagers aged between 10 and 17 were found to be the fussiest with their food.

Of course, parents play an important role in developing and widening their child’s dietary choices from a young age. On average, HelloFresh claims UK parents add a new food to their children’s diets every six months or sooner.

However, 11 percent of parents surveyed said that they hadn’t introduced a new food into their child’s diet in over ten years.

A further 50 percent of parents surveyed by HelloFresh said that over a typical week, they are able to cook meals using less than 10 ingredients, and that month on month, 47 percent said that the contents of their grocery shop tends to be around half unchanged.

There are certain ingredients and flavours that simply don’t make the cut for parents’ when shopping for a picky eater. The survey found that spicy, bitter, and umami (earthy) flavoured foods were the hardest to get kids to try. The ingredients that caused the most table tantrums were vegetables, seafood and shellfish.

Food scientist and University of Oxford Professor Charles Spence explains more on how picky eaters form their habits, and how parents can help to tackle this reluctance around new foods:

“Food, and what a child chooses to eat and, more importantly, what they choose not to eat, is often said to be one of the few areas of life that they are able to control,” he explained.

“Hence, around 13 years old is likely to be when kids are establishing their individual identity and hence food fussiness may be part of that.

“One of the best ways to like new foods is to build up exposure away from the dinner table. By, for example, being involved in meal selection, watching dinner being cooked, or even by using vegetables in play. Sensory familiarity starts to build up without the pressure of having to eat. And thereafter it becomes that much easier to taste the foods and to like them.”

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