A review on children’s oral texture perception and preferences in foods

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Texture properties of foods are particular drivers for food acceptance and rejection in children. The texture preferences follow the developmental progression of the child and these changes modulate the present and future food habits. This paper reviews the development and factors influencing texture preferences in children and the methods in food texture research with children. The child’s acceptance of more complex food textures is age-dependent. The progression is indorsed by the development of oral processing skills at an early age and bolstered by repeated exposures to foods with varying textures. Children generally reject foods containing pieces or bits (i.e., geometrical textural properties); however, the impact of mechanical textural properties on food acceptance is less clear. Child characteristics such as food neophobia, picky eating, and tactile over-responsivity, negatively affect the acceptance of more diverse food textures. Depending on the child’s age, the prevailing methods of characterizing food texture preferences in children include observational techniques and self-reported questionnaires. Despite knowledge of children’s development of masticatory skills, learning, and cognitive abilities, the relationships of these changes to food texture acceptance and the recommended test methodology for evaluating product texture acceptance in this period of life are still limited.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)3861–3879
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

    Research areas

  • Child development, food texture, perception, preference learning

ID: 325377588