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Scientists Say You Really Can Get Kids To Like Veggies

Scientists Say You Really Can Get Kids To Like Veggies

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.

BBC reports "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." (Via )

WCAU mentions "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 )

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)

Join the discussion

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wolfnus June 02 2014 at 11:48 AM

My Mom had a good way to get me to eat vegetables. She would serve a meal, and that would be IT. I would eat what was served, and there would be no arguments about it. If I chose NOT to eat what was on my plate, that was my decision, but nothing else would be provided, no other food. If I got huingry later, well, I would just have to wait until the next meal. Knowing this, I usually just ate what was provided. I do not recall this being a big issue. Kids would eat what was served and not really think much about it. Also, I was not allowed to stuff myself with snacks after school, so I was hungry at meal time. Parents in former days did not negotiate with kids about so many different things. I had a lot of fun growing up, did not think of my parents as enemies. Also, they were my PARENTS, not my FRIENDS. When I grew up, we DID become "friends" but at the right time.

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Jen Horton wolfnus June 10 2014 at 2:22 PM

Thank the Gods, an adult. I was begining to think there were only poop talkers here ! Kay here above... come on, if she cooked veg for her child from six months there would be no problem with food. Slush in a jar whatever the make stops children eating real food. Thank you Wolfnus, thank you.

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petpetdon June 02 2014 at 12:18 PM

Parents now listen up. You put the plate in front of your kids, if they don't eat it they get hungry. They cannot survive on chicken nuggets and fries. Because you parents can't cook a healthy meal is why McDonald's and all the other fast food joints are still in business.

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iliayana June 02 2014 at 10:49 AM

it will probably help if you(the caregiver/parent) eats vegetables as well children often do what you do

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Kay iliayana June 02 2014 at 12:00 PM

This is true, but my daughter refused to eat many things right from the time she was a baby. I always ate many different veggies and I would put them on her plate but she would always refuse to eat them.

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Elizabeth Kay June 02 2014 at 2:41 PM

Who was in charge, you or her?

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sylvabugg2 June 02 2014 at 9:38 AM

My four year old Granddaughter, whom I'm raising, loves vegetables. I try to make it fun to eat them. I'll serve her a plate of raw veggies made into funny shapes and scenes. We call broccoli "baby trees", she loves it! She loves salad too, with ranch dressing! If you make it fun, they're more likely to try them and like them.

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Mocs June 02 2014 at 9:40 AM

"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."


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Elizabeth June 02 2014 at 2:40 PM

My kids loved (and still do) vegetables, especially asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower. Perhaps if mothers were better cooks and made food tasty, it would never be an issue.

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mamatibbors June 03 2014 at 3:32 PM

Seriously ? This is for the mentally challenged parents of today.
This is news? I have 3 grandchildren who eat next to no veggies (one excepted somewhat), and they
are 9, 12, and 14.............................raised on fast food, no fish, 2 eat meat, one doesn't, etc, etc.
Why? Because they had no intro to veggies at very young age............why, their mother didn't like lots
of these things, so it never occurred to her to give it to her children......and btw, she's a great Mom in
all other ways..............she's a super person.............she hates fish, seafood, etc. so do the children.
My children, including their Father, ate everything, they were eating veggies from 2 mo. old, and it
continued through the time they left home.............my children never wanted the food in school cafeteria
because it was 'yucky'........and it was !!!
It's news ? that you start early, please, give me a break !!!

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cgssnavickas June 02 2014 at 10:24 AM

You can't force them to like them, no matter what this article says. My granddaughter hates them, and she was exposed to them before she was even a year old. She hated them, and would refuse to eat them. My daughter tried everything, all to no avail.

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Mel cgssnavickas June 02 2014 at 10:31 AM

its simple... eat your veggies or you get nothing else. Worked JUST fine in my home.

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hercurleywig cgssnavickas June 02 2014 at 10:42 AM

It worked for my nephew when he was 2 years old. My sister would put beets on his dinner plate every now and then, and not say anything. After about the 5th time, I happened to be there, and he started eating the beets. That's when she told me about this and I couldn't believe it. For me, I like a little butter on my steamed broccoli and other vegetables, and it makes a big difference. You are right though, you cannot FORCE children to like anything.

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Kay June 02 2014 at 11:58 AM

My daughter was the most fussy eating baby and child there ever was! Even today as an adult she will not try many things or new food items. My son came along and ate anything that I gave him and he loved veggies. My husband did not eat many veggies, especially cooked ones. He would only eat sweet corn or "canned" peas. I remember when I fixed beets for myself and gave some to my son, he loved them and then offered some to my husband. My husband made a face but ate them anyway knowing that he didn't want to discourage the boy. I had to laugh at that one. Even to this day my son loves veggies and two of his children also love many different veggies and will always try something new. Oh, they were raised by their father, probably why they eat their veggies.

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