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Food rejection and the development of food categorization in young children

Abstract : Food rejection and food categorization are the hallmarks of the omnivore's dilemma, but little is known about the former's development or its relationship with the latter in children. We recruited 79 children aged 2–6 years and 30 adults to test the hypotheses that (i) children's food categorization starts to improve at 2 years, (ii) their food rejection is intrinsi-cally linked to development of the food categorization system, and (iii) food categorization relies mainly on color, which conveys information about food typicality. In a categorization task, participants were shown color photographs of fruit and vegetables, and asked to put items belonging to the same category in the same box. Results on accuracy indicated an age-related increase in food categorization performances, and provided the first empirical evidence speaking in favor of i) a relationship between children's food rejection and food categorization, and ii) the central role of color typicality in food categorization.
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Camille Rioux, Delphine Picard, Jérémie Lafraire. Food rejection and the development of food categorization in young children. Cognitive Development, Elsevier, 2016, 40, pp.163 - 177. ⟨10.1016/j.cogdev.2016.09.003⟩. ⟨hal-01464659⟩



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