School children tasting veg

Can Children Learn to Love Real Food?

By Victoria Balfour, Sustainable Food Trust

A group of 5 year old children wearing ear muffs and biting into pears may sound like a bizarre way to tackle obesity, but the founders of the new sensory food education initiative Flavour School would disagree. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that taste preferences in adulthood are closely linked to what we eat in childhood. If that diet is high in processed or ultra-processed food, it can have major implications for the future food habits and health of our children. Is it possible for children to learn, or even relearn, how to love real food? Recent research has revealed that Britain is the highest consumer of ultra-processed food in Europe, with these foods making up over half our shopping basket. And it’s easy to see why – processed food is everywhere and very affordable. High in salt, sugar and fat, and low in nutritional value, experts believe that the abundance and consumption of...