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Open Access Children as food designers: The potential of co-creation to make the healthy choice the preferred one

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

According to the WHO, childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the twenty-first century. In this context, finding ways to make the healthier food choices the preferred ones can be a valuable contribution to solving this multifaceted problem. Sensory and consumer science offers a wide range of tools that can support the development of healthy and well-accepted food alternatives. In traditional sensory and consumer science, children would be involved in the product development process either as testers or informants. However, in our opinion, it would be valuable to extend their role to co-creators or co-designers, an approach already more established in the field of innovation and design, where children actively participate in the idea generation and development of healthy food that they will like and choose. Our own experience has shown that involving children in the idea-generation step for healthy food can be highly motivating and stimulating for them. In this opinion article, we discuss why it is important to include children actively as a relevant consumer segment in product development and suggest a process and methods that could be valuable for brainstorming about food ideas with children.

Keywords: children; co-creation; healthy eating; ideation study; innovation; new product development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000404512652Nofima Ås and 000000040607975XNMBU 2: 0000000404512652Nofima Ås

Publication date: December 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Food Design (IJFD) is the first academic journal entirely dedicated to Food Design research and practice. We aim at creating a platform for researchers operating in the various disciplines that contribute to the understanding of Food Design.

    Although the journal is open towards different background disciplines, knowledge and expertise, it only focuses on collecting any Food Design-related research outcome: research that somehow combines food and Design. We define Food Design as simply the discipline that connects food and Design: Design applied to food and eating, or food and eating investigated from a Design perspective. In other words, among all knowledge on food and eating, we look at research where Design has an important role, and among all knowledge on Design, we look at research that focuses on aspects of food or eating.

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