The conceptual and cognitive bases of food neophobia in children aged from 3 to 6 years

PhD :
Food neophobia has been presented as one of the main psychological barriers to food variety in young children. It can thus be defined as the disposition to avoid new foods on the basis of their visual appearance, even before they are put in the mouth. This neophobia targets mainly fruits and vegetables, and it must be controlled to limit behaviors that will be deleterious on the child's health in the long run.
Preview :
The main question of this thesis concerns the development of the different types of food knowledge (knowledge of foods, food associations, meals) of the 3 to 6 year old child and the implication of this knowledge in the expression of food rejections. Experiments on the links between the maturity of the different types of knowledge and the main psychological barriers to a varied diet will be conducted. The main hypothesis postulates that food acceptance is conditioned by food recognition. Knowledge of the associations between foods and the knowledge of meals in which these foods are consumed are therefore of crucial importance. Following this work, the intent will be to be able to develop more effective food education programs based on explicit behavioral data. Indeed, by distinguishing the different types of food knowledge, their respective developmental trajectories, as well as their respective effects on the expression of food rejections, this project will be able to nourish programs that promote food variety to children by enriching their knowledge. To this end, the creation of a white book consisting of a synthesis and recommendations will be realized at the end of the thesis. This book will be addressed to all actors of children's food education (teachers, public health and education authorities). Other projects aiming to spread the results to the general public may also be carried out.
Supervisor :
Prof. Jean-Pierre Thibaut, Université de Bourgogne / Dr. Jérémie Lafraire, Centre de Recherche Institut Paul Bocuse / EPHECHArt
Graduate School :
Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Développement (Dijon) et le Centre de Recherche de l’Institut Paul Bocuse (Lyon)
Partners :

Institut Paul Bocuse

Château du Vivier - Ecully - France
Tel: +33 (0)4 72 18 02 20

20, place Bellecour - Lyon - France
Tel: +33 (0)4 78 37 23 02


Raphaëlle Mouillefarine
Partnerships Development
Send an email
+33 (0)4 26 20 97 63

PhD Student

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