Want your chil­dren to eat veg? Take them shopping

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Pat Ha­gan

AS any par­ent will ver­ify, coax­ing a child into eating their greens is not a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. But re­searchers now claim to have found the se­cret to get­ting them to eat veg­eta­bles... and en­joy them.

It seems chil­dren who help choose the in­gre­di­ents to make vegetable-based snacks are much more likely to eat them.

In the study, sci­en­tists at the Basque Culi­nary Cen­tre in San Se­bas­tian, Spain, took a group of 86 chil­dren aged eight to ten and told half of them to help their par­ents shop for the in­gre­di­ents for veg­etable­based snacks or drinks. The rest spent the af­ter­noon play­ing with no ex­po­sure to veg­eta­bles. Both groups were sub­se­quently of­fered the chance to sam­ple ei­ther the vegetable snacks or foods such as cho­co­late, orange juice and chips. The re­sults, pub­lished in the jour­nal Ap­petite, re­vealed 70% of the chil­dren who helped choose the veg­eta­bles tried the snacks. Only 20% of those who did not help with the shopping opted for healthy snacks.

Re­searchers said giv­ing chil­dren a big­ger role in the shopping process could be a way for par­ents to bol­ster healthy food in­take. They said: ‘These re­sults show the im­por­tance of in­volv­ing young­sters in the dif­fer­ent steps of meal prepa­ra­tion.’

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