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Over the course of this week, in honor of National Nutrition Month, we will be sharing a guest blog series by our dietetic intern, Jill Murphy covering food preference development, steps that are a crucial part of making behavioral and lifestyle changes, and finally a range of healthy and tasty recipes from a range of cultures to try! In this first post of the blog series, Jill discusses how our food preferences are developed and how they can change over time with exposure to other food groups. Check out the full post below!  

Food for thought?

Research has shown food preferences are all based on perceptions we are taught as children. Our likes and dislikes formed neuropathways that began the day we were given our first bites. Hopefully, we got a little taste of everything from all of the food group, but sometimes this is not the case.

Nutritional habits are developed in the early stages of life. As we get older, the thoughts and behaviors we configure around food are not just about how it tastes, but many other factors such a looks and smells. 

Why we like certain foods

Foods are given to us when we we’re younger and we establish likes and dislikes early on. 

Appearance– We eat with our eyes first.  If it looks good we will think it tastes good.

Textures – Crunchy, silky, hard, and smooth are just a few.  Mouth feel can impact food choices we make.

Smells – Aromas trigger signals we are hungry.  When food smells good, we’re more likely to eat it.

Culture Habits are based on our culture and surrounding availabilities 

What our families provided for us on a daily basis was what we perceived to be what we need to be healthy, but food is more than nutrients.  There are emotions, memories, feelings, and cognitive reactions we form with each experience.  The other major player in food choices are our different cultures. Forming good habits is always guided by the foods we surround ourselves with.  It is important to create loving and fond memories of healthy foods that provide balance and nutrition for your body. Food choices, habits, and cravings can continue to change, so, especially if you are a picky eater, exploring new foods and allowing yourself to try and form new preferences can be beneficial for your overall health In the long run.

We hope you enjoyed part one of this three part guest blog series by our dietetic intern, Jill Murphy, and would love to hear any thoughts or questions you have on this topic of food preferences! Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of this blog series throughout the week!

** Blog post written by: Jill Murphy (Dietetic Intern)**

Wishing you all a happy and healthy week!

-Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

A Taste of Health, LLC

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

“Improving quality of life one bite at a time”