Science and Tech


Scientists Say You Really Can Get Kids To Like Veggies

A new study out of the University of Leeds proves you can teach children to like vegetables, provided you start young and try often.
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 01, 2014

Having trouble getting the kiddos to eat their vegetables at dinner time? Well apparently you really can teach children to like the healthy stuff, and the key is starting early. 

"A team from the University of Leeds gave artichoke puree to more than 330 children and it said that two in five of those learn to like the vegetable." (ViaBBC)

"They suggest it's better to expose infants to different kinds of vegetables than to wait until they get older because more reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods." (Via WCAU)

The researchers chose artichoke for their study because most parents said that was the vegetable they were least likely to cook.  (Via Flickr / Mike Gifford

The veggies given the the children in the study were not masked to hide the taste — something the scientists discourage. Here's a breakdown of the findings. 

According to researchers "younger children consumed more artichoke than older children," 40 percent of children were "learners who increased intake over time," "21% consumed more than 75% of what was offered each time" and "16% were considered 'non-eaters'." (Via PLOS ONE

One of the researchers in the study talked to the BBC and noted, "If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often. Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that five to 10 exposures will do the trick." 

It's recommended you start babies on solid foods between 4 and 6 months old. (Via WedMD)