Background Taste exposure in infancy is known to predict food preferences later in childhood. This is particularly relevant in children with cows’ milk allergy who consume a substitute formula and/or a cows’ milk exclusion (CME) diet early in life. This prospective study aimed to show whether there is a long-term effect of consuming a substitute formula and CME diet on taste preferences and dietary intake.Methods Children were predominantly recruited from two large birth cohort studies in the UK. Two groups were recruited: an experimental group of children who had consumed a CME diet during infancy and a control group who had consumed an unrestricted diet during infancy. Parents completed a food neophobia questionnaire and an estimated prospective food diary. Children completed a taste preference test and their growth was assessed.Results One hundred and one children with a mean age of 11.5 years were recruited (28 CME and 73 controls). Children in the CME group had a significantly higher preference for bitter taste than those in the control group (P < 0.05). There were significant differences between the groups with respect to the intake of some micronutrients, including riboflavin, iodine, sodium and selenium. Food neophobia did not differ between groups. Some 28% of the CME group were overweight/obese compared to 15% of the control group; however, this difference was not statistically significant.Conclusions Consuming a substitute formula and/or a CME diet in infancy has a long-term effect on the preference for bitter taste. Differences exist with respect to the intake of some micronutrients, but not macronutrients. There was a nonsignificant trend towards being overweight and obese in children in the CME group.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Maslin K., Grimshaw K., Oliver E., Roberts G., Arshad S.H., Dean T., Grundy J., Glasbey G. & Venter C. (2016) Taste preference, food neophobia and nutritional intake in children consuming a cows’ milk exclusion diet: a prospective study. J Hum Nutr Diet, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jhn.12387/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- taste preference
- cows’ milk allergy
- dietary intake
- food neophobia