A1 Journal article (refereed)
Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Preferences Are Associated with Their Mothers’ and Fathers’ Preferences (2021)

Kähkönen, K., Sandell, M., Rönkä, A., Hujo, M., & Nuutinen, O. (2021). Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Preferences Are Associated with Their Mothers’ and Fathers’ Preferences. Foods, 10(2), Article 261. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020261

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKähkönen, Kaisa; Sandell, Mari; Rönkä, Anna; Hujo, Mika; Nuutinen, Outi

Journal or seriesFoods


Publication year2021

Publication date27/01/2021


Issue number2

Article number261

PublisherMDPI AG

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74086


Children’s preference for fruit and vegetables must emerge during childhood. At children’s homes, mothers and fathers influence children’s developing food preferences with their own preferences and actions. The purpose of the study was to reveal the association parents have with their children’s fruit and vegetable preferences. The study was conducted in a sample of Finnish mothers and fathers of 3–5-year-old children. The participants were recruited, and questionnaires distributed through early childhood education and care centers in 2014 and 2015. The results showed considerable variance in the children’s preferences, and were more similar with their father’s, than their mother’s preference. There was an association between mother’s and children’s preference for “strong-tasting vegetables and berries“ (p = 0.005), “sweet-tasting fruit“ (p < 0.001) and “common vegetables“ (p = 0.037). Fathers preferences associated with children’s preferences for “strong-tasting vegetables and berries“ (p = 0.003). Food neophobia decreased children’s “strong-tasting vegetables and berries“ (p < 0.001) and “sweet-tasting fruit“ (p < 0.001) preferences. The father’s more relaxed attitude towards eating decreased children’s preferences for “strong-tasting vegetables and berries“ (p = 0.031) and “sweet-tasting fruit“ (p = 0.003). These findings indicate a need for more targeted strategies for increasing children’s preferences for fruit and vegetables and highlight the importance of taking both parents equally into account.

Keywordschildren (age groups)nutritional behaviourfood habitsdomestic environmentchildren (family members)parentspreferencesfruitsvegetables

Free keywordschildren; parental; fruit and vegetables; preference; food neophobia; eating competence

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 18:47