Control of Eating Behavior: An Evaluation of the Effects of Serving Less Preferred Foods Prior to the Meal on Preschoolers' Eating

Paul Joseph Smith Knight II, Western Michigan University


This study investigated the effects of serving less preferred foods (vegetables) prior to the noon meal on: (1) The amount of vegetables eaten. (2) The variety of different vegetables eaten. (3) The number of servings of vegetables was served under one of two conditions: (1) Alone, 10 minutes prior to the main meal. (2) With the main meal for the first 10 minutes. A third condition allowed for the children to request any one of the six vegetables as an addition to their main meal. The results indicated that more of the vegetables were eaten, in greater variety, when served prior to the meal. No carryover effect was observed when the vegetables were again served with the main meal. These results were discussed in terms of deprivation versus opportunity to eat other foods, nutrition education, and food preference research.