By: Suanne Kowal-Connelly, MD, FAAP

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to get kids to eat their vegetables? Not wanting to eat broccoli is rooted in a great deal of more complicated issues than just not liking green food. How we come to like certain foods is associated with many factors and is referred to as food preferences.

How Food Preferences Are Developed:

In the first 2 years of life—when learning is constantly taking place—food preferences are also forming. Most are learned, but some are innate. A child’s food preferences directly affect eating behavior, which in turn is linked to overall health, wellness, and the formation of obesity.

For years now, the food and beverage industry has used this knowledge to their advantage and encourages the development of unhealthy food preferences in children of all ages through various marketing and advertising techniques.

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