According to a new study involving 73 parents in Boston, an explanation for why rich kids enjoy the taste of healthier foods more than their low-income counterparts has been found, and it all comes down to which parents can afford to produce the most food waste!
Caitlin Daniel, a doctoral student in sociology at Harvard University, found that lower income families are more likely to buy food that their children like rather than what’s good for them, resulting in less than nutritious meals and snacks and less food waste. On the other hand, wealthier parents “have more money to give children foods they may reject,” resulting in more food waste, but a higher probability of their children eating their vegetables in the future.
It all makes sense, really, when you think about how many times you have to shove broccoli down a child’s throat before they actually decide to enjoy it. According to one study, it takes an average of eight to 15 times before a child will become accustomed to a specific food, meaning at least eight to 15 trips to the grocery store, wasting money on food your child refuses to eat.
While lower income families may be saving money by only purchasing foods they know their children will enjoy, it comes at the cost of poor nutrition and an underdeveloped “taste formation” for healthier foods in adulthood. Since richer parents have a higher budget to spend on food waste, their children are said to be better off in the future when it comes to eating healthier foods.