The reason we eat is obviously because of hunger but what we chose to eat is not determined solely by physiological or nutritional needs. Some of the many factors that could influence our food choice include biological determinants (hunger, appetite, taste); economic determinants (cost, income, availability); physical determinants (access, education, skills, time); social determinants (culture, family, peers, meal patterns); physical determinants (mood, stress, guilt); and lastly attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge about food.
Nothing defines the generation gap like the food preferences between adults and children. It can be frustrating for parents when their child won't broaden their food horizons and also frustrating for the child when they don't understand why their parents enjoy eating vegetables. However, this is due to biology that drives the wedge between us. We perceive taste through clusters of sensory cells located primarily on our tongues called taste buds. We can detect sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and savory tastes. With this being said, the taste buds of a child are different from adults. Children have a higher concentration of taste buds that are receptive to sweet tastes. Scientists believe this is to make them more receptive to their mother's milk. Sweet sensations have also been thought to calm down and relieve pain in infants and children.