A Cafeteria-based Tasting Program Improved Elementary School Children’s Fruit Preferences and Self-efficacy to Consume Fruits and Vegetables

  •  Weiping Wong    
  •  Anantha Lakkakula    
  •  James Geaghan    
  •  Michael Zanovec    
  •  Sarah Pierce    
  •  Georgianna Tuuri    


This quasi-experimental study examined the influence of a cafeteria-based tasting program on children’s fruit and vegetable (FV) preferences and self-efficacy, social norms and outcome expectations to consume FV. Third and fifth graders in the intervention schools were offered tastes of eightFV for eight weeks followed by two weeks of tasting four months post-intervention (follow-up). Preferences for 38 FV and self-efficacy, social norms and outcome expectations to consume FV were assessed at baseline, post-intervention and after follow-up tastings. Sixty-eight percent of the intervention-group children tasted fruits at least eight times and vegetables at least 20 times during the 8-week tasting program and were included in the analysis (52% third graders, 48% boys). Children who participated in tasting reported increased preferences for less commonly served fruits from baseline to post-intervention and frombaseline to follow-up and greater self-efficacy to consume FV from baseline to follow-up when compared to control-group children.


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