Acceptance of sweet and salty tastes in 2-year-old children

Appetite. 1984 Dec;5(4):291-305. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6663(84)80002-1.


Taste acceptability, determined by volume of taste substances consumed during brief presentations, was assessed in 63 black 2-year-old children who had previously been tested at birth and at 6 months of age. Intake of sucrose solutions during taste tests was related to prior dietary exposure to sugar water. Children who had been regularly fed sugar water by their mothers consumed more sucrose solutions but not more water than did children whose mothers did not feed them sugar water. However, when these children were tested with sucrose in a fruit-flavored drink base, prior exposure to sugar water was unrelated to consumption of sweetened or unsweetened fruit-flavored drink. Thus, the apparent effects of dietary exposure on sucrose acceptability were specific to the medium in which sucrose was dissolved. Studies with sucrose solutions also revealed a significant correlation between sucrose acceptability determined at 6 months and at 2 years of age. Another series of tests evaluated response to salt with soup and carrots. Individual children who ingested more salty than plain soup also tended to ingest more salty compared with plain carrots. However, measures of salt consumption and salt usage obtained from mothers were unrelated to individual differences in acceptability of salty foods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Blacks
  • Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Food Preferences* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sodium Chloride* / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride* / pharmacology
  • Sucrose*
  • Taste*
  • Vegetables


  • Carbohydrates
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sucrose