Thesis (M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | Young children’s taste preferences influence the quality of their diet. In consideration of the impact of preferences on children’s food intake, it is important to have reliable methods for testing taste preferences. The purpose of this research was to investigate the reliability of food photographs versus real foods when conducting taste preference activities.
Twenty-six preschool aged children completed taste preference activities with nine food photographs and real foods. These activities were repeated twice (activity 1 & activity 2). Analysis included descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha, and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Reliability scores for food photographs versus real foods were ? ? 0.70 during activity 1, and increased to ? ? 0.80 during activity 2. Children three years of age had lower reliability than five-year-old children, and less familiar foods had lower reliability scores. Use of food photographs in taste preference activities is reliable however, children’s age and familiarity with foods should be considered.