Want your children to eat veg? Take them shopping
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.’